Have-a-go Joe tackles bike thieves
RADIO favourite Joe Duffy has become a have-a-go hero after taking on a band of "gurriers" who had stolen his son's bike.
The Liveline host (54) has told how he challenged the youths -- who were 40 years younger than him -- even though his head was telling him it was not safe to do so.
He says that with the benefit of hindsight, he put himself in harm's way but people have to start standing up for against thugs who are destroying Irish society.
Mr Duffy explained that some of the gang were determined "to take me down" after his son's brand new €400 bicycle was taken from outside their local shop just over a week ago.
According to the popular broadcaster, the incident was the latest in a series of bike thefts in the Clontarf area and his rage blinded him to the dangers of chasing the group.
"Little did it matter that the bike had been securely locked: the thieves still managed to steal it from outside the busy local shops," he wrote in his Sunday newspaper column.
His son phoned the gardai but held out little hope of recovering the bike, until Joe stumbled across a group of youths.
"They told us they had seen the thief cycle off towards the city centre. But just as I got into the car, I happened to spy a bicycle wheel behind them. I knew immediately that it was my son's stolen bicycle," he said.
Mr Duffy "jumped" back out of his car and "demanded in colourful language that they return the bike immediately".
"Of course, the gurriers denied it was there -- despite the fact that I could now see it clearly."
However, as he approached the group for a second time, one of them made a lunge forward in a threatening manner.
The father-of-three says he stood his ground "for some reason".
"One fool in particular was determined to take me down -- but my mouth managed to frighten that somewhat.
"Yes he did lunge at me, yes I should have turned and walked away -- but we wanted the bike back.
"As these stooges squared up to me, my son grabbed his bike as we heard the siren of a fast-approaching garda car."
As gardai arrived, the thugs fled on foot but a determined Mr Duffy actually took after them.
"I confronted them again --and they were arrested by the gardai. No big deal," he said.
"Afterwards, my son asked me why I had bothered to chase after the culprits even though the bike had been recovered.
"My reply? One word, that is not being used enough these days: society."