“I pushed his hand up and pressed the panic button at the same time. He pointed the gun up and the bullet ended up above the showcase. It went over my head. He wanted to give me a shock.”
These were the chilling moments that flashed by as brave Nenagh jeweller and goldsmith Tadgh O’Flynn tackled two armed raiders on his jewellery shop in Mitchell Street last Thursday at 11.15am.
Now back behind his counter Tadgh described what happened - and how he was lucky to be alive just one day after he had got engaged to his sweetheart, Evelyn O’Meara from Mallow.
A remarkably coolheaded Tadgh admitted that it had been an eventful two days last Wednesday and Thursday. The qualified goldsmith revealed that he had made the engagement ring for Evelyn.
“I had just finished wrapping a parcel for a customer when these two guys came in. I initially stood back and let them past me. One of them went behind the curtain and was heading for the engagement rings. I pulled his hand back as he was about to put items into a bag and managed to push him to the back of the shop,” he recalled.
Tadgh said that he asked if the gun was real before the shot was fired and even after the raiders had discharged the firearm, he didn’t think it was a real gun.
After he wrestled with the raider to the back of the shop, Tadgh said that he dived for cover. The two raiders fled empty-handed and were pursued by undercover gardai.
The customers who were in the shop at the time of the raid ran out and alerted people on the street as to what was happening.
“It all happened so fast. The customers said that the two, who were wearing balaclavas, said something when they came in, but I don’t know what it was. After the initial shock, the adrenelin kicked in. It doesn’t even feel like it’s real,” he said.
He said that his assistant was upstairs when the raid happened and he was thankful that his father, Tadgh, was not in the shop at the time as he may not have been able to deal with it.
The shop had been robbed twice before, but both those robberies took place at night when the shop was closed.
Meanwhile, Gardai later questioned three men they stopped in Curraghduff, Upperchurch, on the Newport to Thurles Road, in relation to the attempted robbery. One male was taken to Thurles Garda station and the other two were brought to Nenagh Garda Station. All three were detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939. The three were later released and a file is being sent to the DPP.
The Gardai have appealed for witnesses or anyone with information to contact Nenagh on 067-50450, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111 or any Garda station.