A man in his 30s has been charged in connection with an attempted armed robbery at a pub on the Firhouse Road in Dublin last night.

He is due to appear before court tomorrow morning. 

The man was arrested after customers prevented the robbery from taking place.

He entered the Speaker Conolly pub just before midnight with what was later discovered to be an imitation firearm and threatened staff as he demanded money.

He told staff and customers to lie on the floor and followed the assistant manager into the back of the pub.

However, he was challenged by three customers and detained by an off-duty detective, who was in the pub at the time.

He is being questioned at Tallaght Garda Station.

James Murphy, co-owner of the Speaker Connolly pub, said he is grateful to the three customers who intervened.

One of the pub's managers, Jason Doyle, said: "We couldn't have been more thankful for them.

"Obviously we didn't know at the time that the gun was imitation. We thought we were in serious trouble. But they showed no fear. And we've told them already that they'll be looked after.

"It just seemed to be the wrong night for your man."

About a dozen people were still in the bar when the incident occurred.

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The attempted hold-up began as one of the bar staff was pulling down the shutters of the pub at closing time, around midnight.

He was approached by a lone raider wearing a balaclava and carrying what looked like an Uzi-type sub-machine gun.

The raider marched the barman into the pub with the gun at his neck and ordered drinkers out of the front bar and into the lounge.

He then went behind the counter and pointed the gun at Mr Doyle as he demanded the takings.

"I was down on the floor. I shouted 'Calm down, we'll get whatever you need, just calm down'," he said.

"The gunman went into the bar and pointed the gun at the lads and told everyone to get into the lounge. He told me to get up and get the money.

"By the time I was in the office, he was in the kitchen and the next thing I heard this huge commotion".

Mr Doyle said three customers wrestled the raider to the ground and held him there until gardaí arrived.