A pilot who smashed a helicopter into the side of a pub has been arrested on suspicion of endangerment.

The unnamed pilot attempted to land the Gazelle helicopter on the bank of the canal beside the Rustic Inn in Abbeyshurle in County Longford.

Unable to do so the first time, he flew away and then made a second approach, as an onlooker cleared a picnic table to help the chopper land.

But as the aircraft manoeuvred and touched down unsteadily, the tail rotor swung round and hit the pub, leaving a gaping 10ft hole in the wall and a wrecked helicopter.

Bystanders Ciaran Doyle, 14, from Aughnacliffe, witnessed the crash and recorded the incident on his phone camera.

"The impact was very fast but very noisy, it was shocking," he said. "It flew around at the back of the village and it went quite high but then it came down towards the canal and it started to hover very low.

"As I was taking a video for about five minutes it hit off the Rustic Inn and flipped over on its side. I used the phone that I had been videoing with and phoned the emergency services."

The owners of the pub, Teddy and Betty McGoey, had a lucky escape since they had gone into a back function room to investigate after hearing the helicopter hovering low overhead for a few minutes at around 9.15pm. They suffered minor injuries as a result of the impact of the crash .

Two men on board the helicopter also escaped with minor injuries. Police said they arrested one man, who is in his 60s and from the UK, who was detained at Dublin airport.

The second man on board was named as David Bruton, the owner of Midland Aviation which is based at Abbeyshrule Aerodrome, about one mile from where the crash occurred.

The wreckage has now been removed from the scene

The footage is being examined by the Irish government's Air Accident Investigation Unit.