Unarmed gardai faced down a robber wielding a machete as they arrested three men in the moments after a daylight armed raid.
The shocking incident happened at a shop on Martin’s Row in the Dublin suburb of Chapelizod on Sunday.
Two men threatened staff at the grocers with a meat cleaver and then fled from the shop with a large sum of money.
Uniformed gardai were alerted and two units from Ballyfermot and Clondalkin Garda Stations rushed to the scene.
A source said: “The guards rushed in and when they confronted the men they were threatened with the knife.
“One of the members who was involved is just out of the Garda College.
“The men involved are well known from the O’Devaney Gardens area of Dublin and have a long criminal history.
“Gardai put themselves at serious risk in this and were able to bring all three in without any injury.”
The gang involved fled when as the guards approached – the garda helicopter was instrumental in tracking the suspects but unarmed guards gave chase into the Phoenix Park and arrested one of them.
A garda spokesman said: “Gardaí responding to reports of the incident observed two men, one armed with what appeared to be a machete, run from the shop jump into a waiting car.
“The car was stopped and three occupants, one man in his 30s and two in their 20s, were arrested. Cash and weapons were also recovered.
“All three were detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Ballyfermot Garda Station.”