Friday 18 October 2019

'Watch: 'I just went for it' – great-granddad Denis (84) a hero after fighting off armed raiders in Cork

Fearless: Denis O’Connor (84) grapples with a raider armed with a hammer while a staff member tries to take a hammer from another raider
Fearless: Denis O’Connor (84) grapples with a raider armed with a hammer while a staff member tries to take a hammer from another raider

Ralph Riegel

A great-grandfather has modestly insisted he only did what anyone would do in fearlessly tackling three armed raiders in a Cork bookmakers shop.

Denis O'Connor (84) admitted he was spurred into action when he saw Glanmire bookmakers shop manager Tim Murphy being confronted by three masked raiders armed with hammers and a shotgun.

"I didn't really think about it - I just went for it," Denis said.

The courageous actions of Denis and Tim prompted the panicked raiders to abandon the robbery at the bookmakers shop at Crestfield and flee the premises empty-handed.

Footage of the two men heroically confronting the three raiders has gone viral.

"When I saw them confronting him (Tim), I just acted," Denis explained.

"I didn't really think about it. I just wanted to help him out."

Denis, who lives locally in Glanmire, is a great-grandfather.

The two men bravely challenged three masked young men who ran into the premises and demanded cash last Saturday night.

All three raiders are believed to be in their late teens or 20s.

Two were wielding hammers and a third was holding what appeared to be a shotgun.

However, it is unclear if the shotgun was a real firearm or just a plastic imitation.

Last night, friends of Mr O'Connor - who will celebrate his 85th birthday in November - said his courageous act "was typical of him".

"He wouldn't stand by while anyone was in trouble - he's an absolute gentleman. It was typical of him," one local said.

The three raiders, each wearing a balaclava, ran into the premises and demanded cash. They attempted to intimidate staff and force them away from the area where cash was held.

However, Denis and Tim responded to being pushed and shoved by gang.

Denis grappled with one raider, who then ran out of the premises in panic.

Another raider was wrestled by a younger staff member when he attempted to get behind the service counter.

The raider was eventually shoved against a swivel chair, which prevented him from swinging the hammer he held in his hand.

The third raider - visibly panicking at this stage - held the shotgun, but then fled the premises. Detectives are now reviewing CCTV footage.

Gardaí have appealed for anyone who saw a black saloon vehicle, either an Audi A4 or VW Passat, in the area at the time to contact them.

Irish Independent

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