'That was when I knew I had to get the gun off him' - Brave passenger foils robbery by armed men
A passenger who tackled armed men trying to rob a bus driver has been praised for his selfless actions.
Anthony Cardona (45) is recovering from a serious head injury inflicted on him when he was struck with a gun by two masked men in Drogheda, Co Louth.
It is believed the pair were attempting to rob money from the bus driver on Friday night. The bus service is operated by matthews.ie and was stopped in the Louth town when the incident occurred.
"On the last step as I got off the bus I felt something very hard hitting my head and I just collapsed. I thought, what was happening?"
Anthony's father passed away in 2000, and he said he heard his father's voice saying: 'Get up and defend yourself, this is it.'
He looked up and saw the second robber approaching him. "I saw a guy coming with a baton. He was coming towards me and I saw the baton coming in front of my face.
"I grabbed the baton off him and I started to protect myself from it. I thought if I moved in closer to him it would reduce the risk of me getting struck again.
"He was starting to try and run away and I grabbed his jacket and mask and he unzipped it and ran off."
The culprit with the gun was nearby.
"I thought if that guy manages to come down with the gun that someone could get seriously injured. That was the moment I knew I had to try and get that gun off him. I don't know how I did it but I managed to disarm him," Anthony added.
"When I disarmed him he still tried to attack me and I used the baton to defend myself. He threatened to find me and kill me."
Passers-by then called an ambulance.
Anthony was brought to the Emergency Department of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, where he needed stitches for a head wound.
Despite what he went through, Anthony said about his assailants: "I forgive them because to understand what they are going through in their own lives you have to walk in their shoes."
Gardai in Drogheda are investigating the attempted robbery and examining the recovered weapon.
They said the bus driver was threatened by a man carrying a firearm and demanded money from him.