Thursday 21 February 2019

Hero Dublin tour guide rugby-tackles bike thief - 'I just didn't think about it'

Clare Cullen

A Dublin tour guide is being hailed as a "hero" on social media after being captured on camera rugby-tackling a fleeing bicycle thief.

Robbie Campbell was on his first tour of the day yesterday around 11.45 when the incident occurred.

Campbell's group had just reached Trinity College when the tour group heard a commotion and security ran past.

Speaking to, Campbell explained what happened.

"I heard someone shout 'he's stealing a bike'. Security knocked him off the bike but missed a rugby tackle.

"There were so many people around - a couple of hundred. He was skipping through them, some people were trying to trip him up. I seen him running towards me and I thought 'he's not going to get away'."

Robbie Campbell. Photo: Robbie Campbell
Robbie with one of his tours. Photo: Facebook/Dublin's Free Walking Tours
One of Robbie's tour groups starting on O'Connell Street. Photo: Facebook/Dublin's Free Walking Tours

Campbell has never played rugby but just acted in the moment. "I didn't think about it".

"He got hurt, not me."

Campbell is a tour guide for Dublin's Free Walking Tours, and his first group yesterday definitely got more excitement than they bargained for. "I don't know who was more shocked, the guy or my tourists!"

The video clip, which was captured by one of Campbell’s tour group, has attracted attention on the tour’s Facebook page, with Campbell being lauded as a “hero”.

The man had allegedly attempted to steal a bike and been thwarted by security officers, who were chasing him through the grounds. Witnesses reported that the man was carrying a bolt cutters under his jacket.

Pearse St. Garda station could not confirm if a male was arrested in relation to attempted theft in Trinity grounds yesterday.

However, a spokesperson for Trinity College Dublin said that "following an incident on Front Square in  Trinity, Gardaí from Pearse St Garda Station attended and the youth was taken to Pearse St Garda station."

Dublin's Free Walking tours offer two different free walking tours of Dublin, and you can follow them on Facebook here.

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