An 83-year-old man is being hailed as a hero after he successfully managed to fight off three assailants from robbing a bookies earlier this week.

Irish great-grandfather Denis O’Connor was at Bar One Racing in Glanmire, County Cork when three people wearing balaclavas charged into the building, two of them wielding hammers and one of them holding a gun.

While the men with the hammers started to harass the man behind the counter, the man with the gun kept his weapon trained on the gamblers.

O’Connor, however, was not to be intimidated.

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“You can either run and hide or take a stand and I took a stand. The two with the hammers had jumped in and were threatening Tim, the manager, and I decided to go and help him,” the great-grandfather told the Irish Sun.

“Tim the manager is a very nice young man and I just couldn’t not help him. 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 added.

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O’Connor, who is a retired mechanic-fitter and father of five, proceeded to grab one of the assailants and pull them out from behind the counter. As he forced them out of the building, Tim managed to fight off the other hammer-wielding assailant.

As the final would-be burglar was running out of the building after his companions, O’Connor managed to deliver a swift kick to the man’s backside, which he says “felt really good.”

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O’Connor works out at the gym several times a week, going for swims and walks that are several miles long. He is also turning 85 years old next month.

Though O’Connor says that his was wife of 60 years was not very pleased by his actions, Tim has called the pensioner a hero and thanked him for intervening when he did.

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