A BRAVE grandfather refused to give up his car keys despite being beaten with an iron bar and stabbed with a screwdriver.
Gerry Bolger (74) kept his car keys in "a vice-like grip" as the two violent thieves attacked him outside his house.
The hoodie-wearing thieves tried to pull the retired businessman out of the driver's seat of his daughter's car.
But Mr Bolger, who suffers from a heart condition and a painful back problem, refused to give in to the thugs.
"I kept trying to dodge the jabs of the screwdriver. I was moving my head around as the other one was trying to hit me with the iron bar," said the father-of-five who has 10 grandchildren.
Bleeding profusely, he shouted "help, help" as the desperate struggle continued outside his home in Glasnevin at 8am on October 8.
"One of them was shouting 'Give us the f***ing keys.'
"My wife Mary heard the shouts but thought at first it was the television. My son Padraic ran out in his robe. He jumped from the front door onto one of them and started thumping him.
"Padraic saw the other guy attack me again and he threw himself at him.
"I fell back and my head bounced off the ground like a football. They ran off but I'd kept the car keys in my fist in a vice-like grip," he said.
There was blood all over the ground after the attack.
His family and neighbours ran to help him. A nurse who lives nearby attended to him in her nightclothes. His cardiac specialist who also lives nearby was also in her nightclothes when she ran to help him. Many neighbours had got up early to watch the Ireland-Wales rugby match.
One man who lives locally decided to give chase to the thieves and cycled off wearing only his shorts and carrying a hurley.
Padraic decided to assist him and followed in his car. The two men saw one of the attackers walking on nearby Lindsay Road. They told gardai in a patrol car about the man and he was arrested.
Both alleged attackers were Dubliners aged in their early 20s.
Mr Bolger was taken to hospital by ambulance.
He was treated for a head wound and a stab wound to his left arm before being released later.
Showing his determination, he fulfiled his regular duty of reading a Sunday Mass next morning in his local church.
"I've had a lot of well-wishers since it happened," he said.
Mr Bolger retired from his family cash register supply business last Christmas.
He remembers being mugged on two occasions in the last 20 years after visiting his bank in Dorset Street. His wife and a local woman have both had their handbags snatched near their homes in recent years.
He is a regular member of the local Neighbourhood Watch committee.