An 85-year-old man has gained internet fame and the thanks of a manager after security camera footage showed him tackling three would-be robbers at a sports betting office over the weekend.
Denis O’Connor was seen on CCTV footage at Bar One Racing in Glanmire when three people wearing masks walked into the shop.
Two of the men were reportedly holding hammers, while one was holding a sawed-off shotgun, CBS News reports.
In the video, two of the men run in and jump over the counter with the third holding the gun at O’Connor as another patron hides under a table.
As the two men at the counter begin to threaten the manager, demanding money from the safe, the gun-wielder moves off-camera, while O’Connor makes his way towards the other two alleged robbers, engaging one of them in a fight.
A man in a grey hoodie holding a hammer quickly runs away while O’Connor pursues him. A second camera shows the manager, Tim Murphy, struggling with another would-be thief who was also holding a hammer.
Video shows the first man who engaged O’Connor run out of the bar, while the man with the gun makes his way to the door with his weapon trained on the 85-year-old great-grandfather, who picks up a bar stool before dropping it and continuing to chase the two out of the shop.
By the time they had left, the second hammer-wielding man was forced out from behind the counter by Murphy, as O’Connor then attempts to stop him, first tripping him as he runs. The man falls down once, as the gun-wielding suspect briefly comes back in. O’Connor then kicks the other robber once more, causing him to fall again, before they all leave.
Murphy told RTE in Ireland he was grateful for O’Connor’s intervention.
“I owe Denis a huge debt of gratitude, it was an incredible act of bravery from him,” he said.
According to the Gardai, Ireland’s police service, they are searching CCTV footage for a black Volkswagen Passat used by the robbers and are asking any witnesses or people with dashcam footage to contact them.
While the robbery was foiled, the Gardai still advise people not to intervene if they are faced with a similar situation.
“There is a huge risk factor in trying to take on people who come in to carry out a robbery,” Supt. Mick Comyns said.
O’Connor is trying not to revel in his new-found fame, as he’s denied interview requests.
On Monday, he also played a little golf and is reportedly hoping the publicity blows over.