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WATCH: Moment Co Meath shop owner fights off axe-wielding raiders with a step ladder

A shop assistant and store owner have been hailed as heroes after they fought off a pair of armed raiders with a step ladder.

Shocking footage has emerged showing the masked men burst into a Spar store in Ratoath, Co Meath on Wednesday afternoon.

The pair are armed with an axe and what appears to be a large knife.

One of the men jumps over the counter and demands that the worker hand over cash.

However the worker, named only as Gill, refused to open the cash register.

Footage show one of the men attempt to break open the til with the axe before the pair move down to the second cash register.

However their efforts to smash this open are thwarted when shop owner Noel Conway emerges carrying a step-ladder and chases the men out of the store.

Store manager Aoife Cooke told Independent.ie that a female shop worker spotted the commotion and raised the alarm.

"She ran into the back office and says 'we are being robbed'. She literally pushed the owner out to save the day. He picked up the first thing he saw which was a stepladder."

Ms Cooke explained that Gill chased the men out of the store and followed them as they made their escape.

"Gill is mortified, he was in complete shock. The first question I asked was why did you not hand over the money and he said that he couldn't open the til unless they made a purchase."

Ms Cooke explained that they have been targeted before but it is rare.

"Some staff do not have the facility to open the til so even if they want to help the intruders they can't without a sale going through."

She continued: "The staff are very brave but something like this terrifies all the staff involved and it leaves them afraid to come into work.

"As the employee you are terrified to come into work and as the employer you have to deal with the backlash from this."

Gardaí in Ashbourne are investigating the armed raid.

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