Business
owner sees
off thieves
with a chair

Bernard O'NeillPhoto by Shelley Corcoran
A Co Longford businessman has spoken of his frightening ordeal when two armed and masked raiders stormed into his shop demanding cash.

A Co Longford businessman has spoken of his frightening ordeal when two armed and masked raiders stormed into his shop demanding cash.

Bernard O’Neill had just opened up his estate agent business in Edgeworthstown last Friday (May 24) when the pair of intruders suddenly burst in.

Armed with a large kitchen knife and a clawhammer, the duo, who were also wearing balaclavas, confronted Bernard with raised voices.

“It was 10:20am exactly,” he recalled to the Leader this week. “I was on my own at the time and all of a sudden these two came in shouting ‘cash’. I said no and then they looked for my wallet but I said no again,” he said.

Despite having nothing to defend himself with, Bernard instinctively picked up an office chair in the hope of scaring both men off.

“When I did what I did they made for the door. These fellas don’t tend to hang around for long,” he added.

He then chased the pair down a street before eventually losing them in a nearby housing estate.

A permanant fixture in Edgeworthstown for the past four to five years, it’s the first time Bernard’s Pound Street premises has been targeted.

But it’s not the first time the businessman has seen crime visit his door. “I had an experience in Dublin when I stopped a fella and took the balaclava off him. It’s not something you want to do.

“I’ve never been someone who is just going to put my hand in my pocket and hand it (money) over to them. It’s different if you have a gun put in your face, you can’t argue with that,” he said.

Gardai, in the meantime have arrested two men over the incident.

A file is currently being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to determine what charges, if any, can be brought against both men.