Former VFI President fires shots in raid on pub

“These guys are thugs; they didn’t come to wish me good luck.” – Gerry Mellett.
“These guys are thugs; they didn’t come to wish me good luck.” – Gerry Mellett.

Former VFI President Gerry Mellett had an unnerving experience recently when he had to discharge a shotgun over the heads of four raiders to his Ardattin Inn in Mountmellick.

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23 April 2013 | 0

“If I didn’t shoot, I wouldn’t be here talking to you,” he told the Carlow Nationalist recently, “That night I had to defend myself and my property.”
Gerry and his wife Margaret were having a cup of tea just after 1pm when the dogs started barking and Margaret heard loud banging.
“There was a lot of banging and shouting and roaring,” said Gerry, who went to investigate only to find that four raiders had got into his shop and pub premises by breaking down a set of double doors with a sledgehammer.

“They broke down the reinforced doors,” Gerry told Drinks Industry Ireland, “These guys would have got through cement walls.”

According to The Nationalist, Gerry had come face-to-face with four violent balaclava-clad raiders armed with a pickaxe and sledgehammer. The 58-year-old felt compelled to act to protect his family and his property, he said.

Having taken the cash from the shop till the raiders tore a cigarette machine off the wall and set about bursting it open in the brightly-lit car park.

Gerry decided to load his shotgun and called the Gardai.

“The four fellas were outside in the car park and they were doing a dance on the cigarette machine with the sledgehammer and pickaxe,” he explained.

Then one of the raiders spotted him and ran at him from across the car park wielding a pickaxe.

“I’ve no doubt I would have been killed,” believes Gerry who fired his shotgun above the man’s head, “I wouldn’t be talking to you today if I hadn’t shot; I’d have been killed. He was like a lunatic.”

“I didn’t know if one of them had a gun,” he added, “But I wasn’t looking for a fight … He ran across the car park at me. In 13 years, I’ve never been put in a situation like this before. These guys are thugs; they didn’t come to wish me good luck.”
However despite bettering the raiders, that night continues to haunt him.

“It’s amazing, really. I wasn’t frightened at the time and you’d think you would be, but it affected me the following day and over the weekend.”

Following the shots being discharged, the men jumped into a black Volvo and drove off leaving considerable destruction in their wake.

Gardaí are currently investigating.

To Gerry, it serves as a warning to all publicans.

“It can happen to any of us,” he told Drinks Industry Ireland, “It concentrates your mind in relation to security…. We were lucky.”

“These guys are thugs; they didn’t come to wish me good luck.” – Gerry Mellett.

“These guys are thugs; they didn’t come to wish me good luck.” – Gerry Mellett.



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