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Saturday 17 February 2018

'I'm no hero' – ex-garda who tackled gunman

Retired Detective Garda Dessie Brennan, right, with barman Tommy Quinn from Jacob's Bar, Saggart
Retired Detective Garda Dessie Brennan, right, with barman Tommy Quinn from Jacob's Bar, Saggart
Dessie ’s son, Garda David Brennan, who played inter-county football for Laois and helped disarm the raider

Genna Patterson

A RETIRED garda has told how tackling a pair of robbers – one armed with a gun – with his son was not the most dangerous thing he has done.

Dessie Brennan and his son David disarmed and held a robber down on Saturday night after an attempt to rob a bookmakers.

Mr Brennan (62), who worked as a detective for 30 of his 41 years in the force, told the Irish Independent: "It's not the most dangerous thing I've done.

"When I was in Kevin Street station we'd do raids, and search houses for guns and the like all the time and nobody batted an eyelid," he added.


He also said he did not think he did anything out of the ordinary and that anyone would have done the same.

"People say hero, but I don't feel like that. We did what we did," he said.

The most perilous outcome of the incident appears to be the reaction of his family to his courageous efforts.

"My daughter was annoyed at me, and my wife was upset with me for putting our son in harm's way," said the Laois native.

Mr Brennan and his son, David (34), an off-duty Clondalkin drug squad garda, were out for a drink in Jacob's Bar in Saggart when the incident kicked off.

"I was in the pub about 20 yards away from the bookies with my son, David. It was about 9.10 pm and one of the locals came in and said there's a robbery at the Paddy Powers," Mr Brennan said.

"So we went out and the two fellas were up on the bike about to shoot off on it."

They noticed that one of the men had a revolver so David "jumped up and kicked out with his two feet, knocking the lad off the bike", Dessie said.

The father and son held the assailant down and removed the gun from his grasp.

The other man ran away from the scene but was chased by locals until he got away over a wall.

"The danger was the lad with the gun, and once you have one, you have the other."

Dessie conceded that it was probably their garda training that assisted them in the incident. Jacob's Bar manager Ciaran Power said the whole village was excited about the incident.

"I thought it was very brave," he said.

"They could have easily sat back and waited for the gardai from Rathcoole to deal with it but instead they stuck their neck out."

The other assailant has not yet been arrested.

Irish Independent

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