An overweight thug was arrested after being chased by an off-duty garda during a failed armed robbery.
The criminal, who tried to run off but was caught a short distance away by the quicker officer, had been arrested earlier this month for a horrific burglary at the home of Voice Of Ireland finalist Mark Guildea.
Gda Brendan O’Toole, who is stationed at Terenure Garda station, was unarmed and off-duty when he tackled the 22-year-old gangster and his 16-year-old accomplice.
The shocking incident took place at a shop on Mountpleasant Avenue in Ranelagh, south Dublin, on Thursday evening.
Gda O’Toole - who is in his 30s and previously led a major investigation into an arson attack in Rathmines - injured his hand during the confrontation, which happened at around 6.45pm.
The 22-year-old criminal was still being questioned last night at Rathmines garda station, while his teenage sidekick was in custody in Terenure garda station after his arrest at 11.30pm on Thursday.
A technical examination of the weapon used in the attempted robbery later showed that it was a high-quality replica handgun.
The older man is originally from Drimnagh and is currently serving a suspended sentence for being a passenger in a stolen car which was involved in a terrifying high-speed chase with gardai in 2011 in Dublin city centre.
He has connections to the notorious Brian Rattigan criminal gang and is described by senior sources as “cash-hungry and completely out-of-control”.
He has been involved in low-level gang warfare in the south inner city over the last three years.
He was arrested just over a fortnight ago in relation to a burglary in which a three-year-old girl was gagged and bound along with her mother during a robbery at the family home of Voice Of Ireland finalist Mark Guildea.
The terrifying ordeal endured by Allison and Holly Guildea happened while Mr Guildea was away from their Co Meath home performing.
Gardai believe the criminal was part of a four-man gang burst into the house, tied up the young mother and repeatedly screamed at her “where’s the safe, where’s the safe” while her distraught daughter watched in terror.