Monday 19 March 2018

'I was worried about an elderly customer, I won't retreat' - Pub owner (70) who tackled armed raider

William Moloney of Moloney's Bar on Skeogh Co. Kilkenny, the scene of an attempted armed robbery. Picture: Dylan Vaughan
William Moloney of Moloney's Bar on Skeogh Co. Kilkenny, the scene of an attempted armed robbery. Picture: Dylan Vaughan
Amy Mulvaney

Amy Mulvaney

A 70-year-old pub owner who confronted an armed raider has said that he won't back down after the incident.

Willie Moloney, from Co Kilkenny, was in his pub on Thursday night when two raiders burst in.

"We were trading as usual on Thursday night. It was around 10:15pm and the pub door abruptly opened and two young men wearing balaclavas burst in," he told

"One walked over to the middle of the floor, and the other closed the door. One was carrying what appeared to be a firearm."

"There was four people in the pub, including my sister, who was serving behind the bar. They demanded a handout and demanded that customers lay on the floor. Two were standing, and one refused and the one lay down with fear."

Mr Moloney was in the living room when he heard the men "shouting and screaming," and confronted one of the raiders when he came out.

"I confronted the guy who was in the middle of the floor and looked right up close to him. He was holding the gun up against my thigh. Luckily I was able to grab on to him and grasped his shoulder. We were grappling, and I was concerned for an elderly customer, who is 84, who I could see at the side of my eye.

"Luckily the gun fell to the floor and he broke free from my grip and the two of them ran out the door. I ran after them but I lost sight as they went up a hill road."

Mr Moloney, who works as a part-time farmer, then called two of his neighbours for assistance before ringing the Garda Siochana.

"I went back in and rang two of my neighbours for assistance, then I rang the gardai. The gardai were excellent in their response. They were fast, efficient and effective and within 12 to 14 minutes there was a serious presence of gardai.

"Three men were intercepted at a Garda checkpoint, and the fourth was found at his place of residence.

"This is the ninth time this has happened to me since 1975. It's the seventh time in the pub lounge, and the two others were on the farm. his was the most traumatic time."

Mr Moloney said that he "isn't going to retreat," after the incident and that the pub is back up and running.

"I'm a bit shaken, to put it mildly. I'm not going to retreat. When I'm confronted, I see red.

"We're back to business and operating as usual."

Four men have been arrested and are being detained under Section 30 of Offences Against the State Act, 1939.

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