A STAFF member and customer at a Cork bookmakers have been hailed as heroes for fearlessly fighting off three armed raiders during an attempted robbery.
The two men – one of whom is in his early 60s – bravely challenged three masked young men who ran into the premises in Glanmire, Co Cork and demanded cash.
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.
The incident unfolded at Cresfield in Glanmire, Co Cork shortly after 6pm on Saturday evening.
The three raiders, each wearing balaclavas, ran into the premises and demanded cash.
They attempted to intimidate staff and force them away from the area where cash was held.
Two stunned customers looked on in shock.
However, two men, a customer and a staff member, responded to being pushed and shoved by gang.
One raider was grappled by the elderly customer – and the robber 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 grasped in his hand.
The third raider – visibly panicked – held the shotgun but then fled the premises with his startled colleagues after the bungled raid.
All three are believed to have made their getaway in a waiting black-coloured car which was parked outside.
The gang left the premises empty handed.
It is believed the car drove off in the direction of Cork city.
Gardaí said they are treating the incident as “very serious.”
Officers acknowledged it was “very fortunate” that no-one was hurt during the incident.
CCTV security camera footage of the incident is now being studied.
“We would appeal for any information or witness sightings of the three male suspects in the Riverstown, Glanmire area between 6pm and 7pm on Saturday and any mobile phone or dashcam footage from the Riverstown/Glanmire/Sallybrook area at the same time,” a garda spokesperson said.
“We would also appeal for any witness sightings of suspicious activity by a black saloon vehicle, either an Audi A4 or VW Passat, in the Riverstown/Glanmire/Sallybrook area at the same time.”
Gardaí urged anyone with information to contact them at Glanmire Garda Station on (021) 4821002, Mayfield Garda Station on (021) 4558510 or the Garda Confidential Helpline (1800) 666111.