“You can either run and hide or take a stand and I took a stand.”

I am half the age of Denis O’Connor and I wish I was half the man he is. At 83-years old, O’Connor stopped an armed robbery at Bar One Racing, a bookmaker shop in Glanmire, Co Cork, Ireland.

Calm in the Face of Danger

The security video shows that at 6:23pm on Saturday, September 15th, three men, presumed to be in their 20’s or 30’s, stormed the small store where O’Connor and what look to be two other men were watching races, while shop manager Tim Murphy was behind the counter. Two of the assailants wielded hammers and went for Murphy, one jumping over the counter and the other going around after failing to perform the rather simple athletic feat. The third suspect pointed a shotgun at the customers.

While the gunman was dealing with someone on the floor – probably demanding his money – O’Connor followed the hammermen behind the counter. With barely any hesitation, he grappled with the first one he confronted, causing him to quickly flee, the gunman close behind. O’Connor chased them out, grabbing a stool in the process, though he almost immediately tossed it aside, realizing he wouldn’t need it.

O’Connor’s actions – and the flight of two of the robbers – seemed to embolden Murphy, who after looking like he was going to go along with the thugs and give them what they wanted (who wouldn’t?), began wrestling with the lone remaining man with a hammer.

The third man also decided it was time to get the hell out of there. On his way out, he was interrupted by O’Connor, who had returned from “escorting” the first two out of the shop. In dodging O’Connor, the man tripped and O’Connor kicked him right in the butt as the dude escaped.

Upon watching the video a few times, one of the craziest things I noticed was that when O’Connor chased the first two robbers out the door, the one with the shotgun pointed it right in O’Connor’s face. O’Connor looked completely unphased by it and I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened so face he didn’t even notice.

My Wife Would’ve Been Mad, Too

As to why O’Connor decided to jump into action, rather than just doing the safe thing and not resist:

“Tim the manager is a very nice young man and I just couldn’t just not help him,” he told The Irish Sun. “I ignored the fellow with the gun and I went behind the counter. I just didn’t think about what I was doing. Sometimes you can just sit down and do nothing or you can stand up to people like these and that’s what I did.”

He said it “felt really good” to give the third man “a kick up the backside.”

Murphy called O’Connor a “true hero” and that he “will be well looked after.”

“When I told my wife what happened, she didn’t really understand what I did until she saw the video today [Sunday]. I don’t thing she was too pleased but she was proud of what I did,”

I think I’m going to go do some pushups now. I feel entirely inadequate.

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