Pharmacist foils baseball bat raiders

A pharmacist stood up to two armed raiders who attempted a late-night break-in at his premises in a village.

Matt Fitzmaurice held his ground as masked men wielding baseball bats continued to smash the front window of his pharmacy in Lixnaw, near Listowel, Co Kerry.

After about five minutes, they eventually departed on foot, empty-handed.

“There was an awful lot of shouting and roaring while they were there. I kept telling them they were not going to get in and was fully determined to protect my pharmacy,” he said yesterday.

“I think it was adrenaline that made me just stand firm and removed any fear I might have of them.”

The drama started at around 10.45pm on Sunday evening as Mr Fitzmaurice was doing his books in the pharmacy.

He was startled when he saw two people in balaclavas breaking the window.

The door was locked from the inside and he confronted the raiders through the glass.

Mr Fitzmaurice received a blow to the elbow, but continued to resist them, all the time shouting at them to go away.

He believes they were probably after drugs as there had been no cash in the premises.

Villagers praised Mr Fitzmaurice for not yielding to the raiders and defending his business.

“He showed great courage by not allowing these thugs into his business,” said one resident.

“Many people in rural areas are now living in fear of being robbed and attacked like this and he was dead right not to back down and let them rob his place.”

Lixnaw had been quiet at the time of the raid and some elderly people in the village were disturbed by the incident.

Gardaí from Listowel were quickly on the scene and a garda presence was maintained for the remainder of the night.

The investigation is continuing, meanwhile, with the incident being treated as an aggravated burglary.

It is believed the raiders were Irish. Both were wearing dark clothes, with one man about 5ft 10in in height and the other about 5ft 5in.


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