Sunday 24 September 2017

'We are finally free of this terrible ordeal' - Family relief four years after nightmare burglary

Thomas Flynn and inset Mark and Emma Corcoran
Thomas Flynn and inset Mark and Emma Corcoran

Conor Kane and Ian Begley

A family terrorised in their own home during an aggravated burglary have finally won their "freedom" following the conclusion of appeal proceedings.

Two of a seven-member gang from Dublin had 20-year prison sentences reduced to 18 years, with four suspended, by the Court of Criminal Appeal on Monday morning, while three other gang members had their appeals against the severity of their sentences dismissed.

Dean Byrne (22) of Cabra Park, Dublin 17, was given a sentence of 20 years, with four suspended. He had 120 previous convictions
Dean Byrne (22) of Cabra Park, Dublin 17, was given a sentence of 20 years, with four suspended. He had 120 previous convictions
Patrick Gately (28) of Primrose Grove, Darndale, Dublin 17, was sentenced to 20 years, with four suspended. He had 85 previous convictions
John Joyce (21) of Lentisk Lawn, Donaghmede, Dublin, was sentenced to 15 years, with four of those suspended. He had 55 previous convictions
Patrick Joyce (23) of Beaumont Hall, Beaumont Woods, Dublin 9, was given 14 years, with four suspended. He had 16 previous convictions, none for violent offences
Thomas Flynn (21) of Moatview Avenue, Coolock, Dublin 17, was sentenced to 12 years, with three suspended. He had 20 previous convictions
Donal O'Hara (22) of Glin Park, Coolock, Dublin 17, was sentenced to 12 years, with seven suspended. He had 19 previous convictions
Michael McDonagh (23) of Tara Lawns, Belcamp Lane, Coolock, Dublin 17, the only defendant with no previous convictions, sentenced to 12 years, with seven suspended

The remaining two members of the gang who committed the raid at the home of Emma and Mark Corcoran and their young daughters in Co Tipperary, in 2013, did not mount any appeal against their sentences.

All seven had pleaded guilty in 2015 at Clonmel Circuit Court to a single count of aggravated burglary at Burnchurch, Killenaule, Co Tipperary, on November 21, 2013.

"They're delighted," the Corcoran family's solicitor Kieran Cleary said after the appeal proceedings ended.

Ordeal

"It's finality. You need finality in crime. You need to know they can't upset you and frighten you again."They're now free. They're free of this terrible ordeal."

Mr Cleary said the Corcorans were doing "fine" and paid tribute to their courage and determination to face down the seven men who broke into their house early that morning.

Emma and Mark Corcoran: Process of trying to put their terrifying ordeal behind them will take much longer
Emma and Mark Corcoran: Process of trying to put their terrifying ordeal behind them will take much longer

A family member told the Herald the Corcoran family had been through so much over the last few years, adding: "It was an awful thing to have happened.

"I'm sure they're both very glad this is all over and now they can get on with their lives."

During the case, the Circuit Court heard the men entered the house armed with a sawn-off shotgun, a machete and a handgun.

They were heard on a 999 call threatening to "kill your f*****g kids", who were aged eight, six and two at the time. They struck Mark Corcoran in the face with the butt of a gun, fracturing his eye socket.

Imprisonment

Patrick Gatley (29), of Primrose Grove, Darndale, and Dean Byrne (23), of Cabra Park, Dublin 17, were both sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment, with four suspended.

Those terms were reduced to 18 years each, with four suspended, on appeal.

John Joyce (22), of Lentisk Lawn, Donaghmede, was sentenced to 15 years with four suspended and had an appeal against the sentence dismissed.

Patrick Joyce (24), of Beaumont Hall, Beaumont Woods, was sentenced for 14 years with the last four suspended and his appeal was also dismissed.

Thomas Flynn (22), of Moatview Avenue, Coolock, had his appeal against a 12-year sentence also dismissed.

Donal O'Hara, of Glin Park, Coolock, Dublin 17, and Michael McDonagh, of Tara Lawns, Belcamp Lane, Coolock, were both sentenced to 12 years, with seven years suspended, and did not appeal their sentences.

Herald

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