NewsCrime Desk

LOVE/HATE actor arrested in connection with armed raid on Dublin pub

Stephen Clinch
Stephen Clinch

A LOVE/HATE actor has been arrested by gardai investigating an attempted armed robbery at a Dublin pub.

Darndale man Stephen Clinch (49) was still being questioned at Store Street Garda Station last night after a dramatic incident in which staff chased and overpowered two raiders on the premises.

The real-life crime drama took place at The Living Room sports pub on Findlater Place, Cathal Brugha Street, in Dublin's north inner city at around 9.30am yesterday.

The actor, who previously claimed that he was a reformed criminal, was arrested with another man by gardai at the pub after they were pinned down by the staff.

Clinch starred as Noely in Love/Hate. His character was infamously involved in a savage jail assault in which a pool cue was used to attack Fran in the final episode.

Stephen Clinch

Sources said that a sum close to €50,000 and a handgun were recovered from the scene.

A senior member of management of the business told the Herald: "I can't commend the staff highly enough. It was a very tense situation.

"I was in the middle of it all too and we had them restrained when the gardai arrived."

Staff said the two raiders entered the premises early on Monday morning.

The Living Room on Findlater Place, the Fibber McGee's pub in Parnell Street and Murray's pub on O'Connell Street are all run by The Murray Group company

The raiders threatened a member of staff with a gun in an attempt to steal a bag of cash containing some of the weekend takings. The two men then attempted to escape from the building but were pursued through the premises by up nine staff.

At one point the bungling raiders tried to flee via a door on to Parnell Street but they didn't have the security code. The duo then tried to escape through a firedoor but two individuals members of staff grabbed them and forced them to the ground.

The other staff members then joined in the scrum until two unarmed community gardai arrived to arrest them.

"It was a good outcome … I'm very happy," said the senior management member, who added there was a lot of "adrenalin" involved.

"This was a good lesson for the criminals. These were two idiots," said one delighted staff member.

A 43-year-old man who was arrested yesterday alongside Clinch is a career criminal who is currently facing serious charges before the courts.

Clinch also featured in TV3's series about his own locality 'Darndale: The Edge of Town'.

Last October Clinch, who has armed robbery convictions, was interviewed by Marian Finucane on RTE Radio One about being behind bars before rising to stardom.

He claimed that he is still haunted by his memories of the terrified people he targeted. "I do apologise but it wasn't me that was robbing them. It was my addiction, I had to feed it," he said at the time.

The Herald