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  • Southside

Face of bravery

Tuesday, 28th November, 2017 8:00am

Story by Neil Fetherstonhaugh
Face of bravery

Dún Laoghaire jeweller Breasal Ó Caollaí in his shop where the attempted robbery took place. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

Face of bravery

Dún Laoghaire jeweller Breasal Ó Caollaí in his shop where the attempted robbery took place. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

THIS is the battered face of Dún Laoghaire jeweller Breasal Ó Caollaí after he was brutally pistol-whipped by a vicious armed robber during a terrifying incident at his shop in the town last week.

Breasal, a well-known local businessman, suffered bruising to his face and injuries to his head as he grappled with the thug who had attempted to hold up Costello Jewellers on Northumberland Avenue.

Breasal told Southside People how he grabbed the pistol and wrestled with the assailant who then fled out onto the street.

“To be honest it happened so quickly that I wasn’t aware he had a gun until I grabbed it,” Breasal said.

“It was all over in a few moments but it felt a lot longer. He whacked me over the head with the gun a few times and I had to go to hospital but I’m okay now.”

Breasal was in the popular shop at around midday on the day with several other customers.

He was also talking to one of his suppliers when he noticed the man, in his 20s, who was wearing a black hat hanging around the shop. 

“He had a Christmas shopping bag with him so he looked just like any other shopper,” Breasal recalled. “After the other customers had left the shop he approached the counter and asked me to show him a few items which I did, one at a time.

“I was showing him a bracelet when suddenly he hit me over the head with something sharp and hard.

“I just went for him and managed to get a grip on him.

“He kept hitting me over the head and face as I held onto him and we both fell backwards towards a storage area behind the counter.

“It was only then I realised he had a gun and I instinctively grabbed it so it wasn’t pointing at me and was instead pointing at him. I wasn’t really thinking but I hoped to hold onto him until help arrived. But he managed to escape out though the door as another passer-by started shouting at him.

“He ran off up the road brandishing his weapon as people screamed at him and he got away but I understand that the police know who he is.”

Breasal added that no jewellery or cash was taken in the incident.

He was later taken to hospital by ambulance suffering mainly from head wounds and was released after treatment.

It is not the first time the Dun Laoghaire businessman has been targeted.

At almost the same time last year, in November 2016, the businessman told how a brazen thief made off with €12,000 worth of jewellery from his store.

Four expensive items including a unique diamond engagement ring costing €7,300, were stolen.

The burglar, who had also been posing as a Christmas shopper, was captured on CCTV being shown around the store by a sales assistant when he fled the scene with the jewellery on November 17. 

Ó’Caollaí described the robbery as “a scourge against businesses”.

“We have a very good camera so all we can really do is review our security measures and tighten them up,” he said at the time.

Gardaí at Dun Laoghaire said they were investigating an attempted robbery and assault at a retail shop on Northumberland Avenue at approximately 11.45am.

“A male entered the shop armed with what is described as a firearm,” gardaí said. “He threatened a male employee and assaulted him. The employee managed to exit the shop and raise the alarm. Nothing was taken during this incident.”

They added: “No arrests have been made and gardaí are investigating.”

 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here