An antique Irish walking stick came in handy recently for a couple in Niles, Illinois when three individuals tried to rob their home. Dan and Barbara Donovan shared the ordeal and were able to avert losing any of their belongings.

Speaking to the Pioneer Press, the Donovans narrated how they were paid a curious visit from someone in a reflective vest and mask on Nov. 4. The visitor claimed he was a utility worker and that he needed to check their fuse box following a recent fire in the area.

The fuse box was located in the basement of their home. The visitor was looking checking out the electric circuit panel by Barbara Donovan heard some squeaking floorboards coming from upstairs. It was there when she felt that something was not right.

It was there when she told her husband that there were people in their bedroom. She went up to check, followed by Dan and the man posing as a utility worker. They found two other men in their bedroom, one of them holding a pillowcase from their bedroom.

From there, Dan Donovan tried to chase the three men from their house. He grabbed his grandfather’s shillelagh, an antique Irish walking stick that was propped at the corner of their dining room.

“I was trying to find some type of persuasive weapon,” he said. “So I picked up the Irish shillelagh and that turned out to be the equalizer because I managed to chase them out of the house.”

Dan Donovan managed to hit the man who was seen holding the pillowcase in the back of the head. This forced that said man to retreat as he tried to follow his two other cohorts outside.

The 81-year-old continued to chase them away and managed to deal out blows to the windshield and rear window of the SUV rode on before they fled, the Associated Press reported.

“Hopefully they got nothing more than a headache and hopefully they pursue another occupation,” Dan Donovan said.

Former Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldier, Tom Walker holds his engraved walking stick Former Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldier, Tom Walker holds his engraved walking stick Getty Images | PAUL FAITH/AFP