A would-be robber wearing a balaclava and carrying what appeared to be a Uzi-type sub-machine gun was foiled when drinkers in a Dublin pub tackled him during a raid.
The hold-up began at the Speaker Connolly bar in the Firhouse area, as one of the staff was pulling down on the shutters at closing time on New Year’s Night.
The raider, who is said to have shouted “This is the IRA – this is a robbery”, marched the barman back into the pub with the gun at his neck.
About a dozen people were still inside, and assistant manager Jason Doyle was then ordered to hand over the takings at gunpoint.
“The barman originally thought that it was a laugh, that someone was messing,” he explained.
“It was only when he was brought into the porch of the pub and asked what’s the best way in and out without being seen that he realised.”
The gunman ordered Jason to go and get the money and told everyone else to get out of the front bar and into the lounge.
“By the time I was in the office, he was in the kitchen and the next thing I heard this huge commotion,” Jason said.
“Three of the lads had jumped over the counter, burst into the kitchen, caught him off guard and wrestled him to the ground and gave him a bit of a hiding and held him down.”
The brave customers, all believed to be in their 30s, have been regulars in the pub on and off for the last few months.
An off-duty detective was also there and called gardaí, while another member of staff pressed a panic button.
The raider was disarmed on the kitchen floor and restrained until gardaí – including a Garda helicopter - arrived on the scene a few minutes later.
They confirmed that a man in his 30s was arrested and a suspected firearm recovered.