CORK’S top cop has said the 83-year-old great grandfather who fought off three armed raiders attempting to rob a bookmakers in Glanmire should be recognised for his bravery by An Garda Siochána.
Denis O’Connor’s heroics has caught the attention of people around the world since the incident last Saturday in Crestfield, Glanmire.
Mr O’Connor helped fight off three armed raiders, two carrying hammers and one with what appears to be a shotgun. He delivered a boot in the backside to one of the raiders as they fled the betting shop.
Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said Mr O’Connor would certainly be considered for recognition for the courage he has shown.
“Due consideration will be given to the role of Mr O’Connor in respect of this incident when the matter has been fully dealt with,” Chief Supt McPolin said.
“A full investigation is underway as we speak. At present we are concentrating on getting the culprits and when we have matters fully investigated and hopefully a successful outcome to it, due consideration will be given to the recognition of the contribution of Mr O’Connor in this respect.”
Local Independent councillor Ger Keohane also said Mr O’Connor deserved to be recognised for his courage and perhaps a Bravery Award would be the perfect way to highlight his valiant behaviour.
“He showed his true character and that needs to be recognised,” Mr Keohane said.
Mr O’Connor was filmed on the bookmakers CCTV fighting back against three raiders.
While the local councillor said his fearlessness should be commended, both Mr Keohane and local Superintendent Mick Comyns said that they would not be encouraging other people to take the same action if they were caught up in a similar situation.
“I would always say to people, never tackle someone in this instance. It is too dangerous, the risk is too great,” Supt Comyns said.
“In this instance, it turned out good, but we are very lucky it was good. It could have been a lot different. It could have been a murder I was investigating.”
Supt Comyns also said the Mayfield station had been inundated with enquiries from media outlets around the world, including CNN and BBC, looking into the facts of the case.
Mayfield-based Inspector Adrian Gamble said that the investigation was in its infancy and they were appealing for witnesses to come forward.
“At the moment we are gathering information. There is a team of detectives working on the case and we are appealing for witnesses.
“Anyone who was in the vicinity of Hazelwood Shopping Centre between 6-7pm last Saturday and may have seen something is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 25 00 25 or Mayfield Garda Station on 021 4558510.”
Insp Gamble said they were appealing for anyone with mobile phone footage or dash cam footage to get in touch.
“Anyone who was in the area and who saw a black saloon type car, we would really appreciate it if they came forward and contacted us,” Insp Gamble said.