Great-grandfather hailed a hero in Cork bookies raid appeals for raiders to give themselves in

By Olivia Kelleher

An 83-year-old great grandfather who rushed to the assistance of a manager of a bookies after three armed men tried to rob the premises has appealed to the raiders to give themselves up.

In an interview with Paul Byrne on Virgin Media News, Denis O'Connor said he "thought he hadn't much choice" in terms of how he reacted when the young men came in to Bar One Racing in Glanmire, Co Cork last Saturday evening.

Denis O'Connor has been hailed as a hero.

He said he acted instinctively when he had a gun pointed at him. He said he did fear for his life. However, he got "bursts of confidence."

Mr O'Connor said he bore no animosity towards the young men involved.

I must tell you this now I don't think they intended to harm anyone. That is my opinion. I felt sympathy for them.

He said he hopes the men turn themselves in the coming days and is anxious to get back to his normal routine.

Meanwhile, the staff at Bar One continued to pay tribute to Mr O'Connor yesterday for his heroism in coming to the assistance of manager, Tim Murphy, when the men stormed in brandishing hammers and what appeared to be a shotgun.

It is understood that gardai have examined CCTV footage from the premises in a bid to track down the raiders and are confident of making arrests in the case.

The incident occurred last Saturday shortly after 6pm when three men in their teens or early twenties went into the bookies armed with hammers and a shotgun demanding money from the safe. Two men, who were wearing balaclavas, proceeded to jump the counter and attack the manager. A third man carrying what appeared to be a shotgun held up the customers.

Mr O'Connor, who trains regularly in a Cork gym and walks and swims several times a week, immediately went to the aid of Tim Murphy. He tackled one of the men and the raiders left empty-handed.

Mr Murphy said he was extremely grateful for the actions of Mr Murphy who assisted him in his time of need.

I was just being threatened by the two fellas with the hammers. Denis tackled one of them and I thought 'I will have to tackle this fella as well.' I tried to grab the hammer. It was a total blur. They totally backed down. I remember Denis just shouting, "Ye are Cowards. Ye are total cowards."

"Denis is a total hero. When I saw him taking one of them on he totally inspired me. He is very fit."

Anyone who has information relating to a black saloon car which was seen leaving the area at speed around the time of the robbery is asked to contact gardai in Mayfield on (021) 455 8510.

Members of the public with information in the case should also contact gardai in Mayfield or any garda station.

Most Read in Ireland