The Dublin criminal gang who terrified a young family in home raid had 315 previous convictions between them
The vicious Traveller gang who were sentenced to a total of 120 years for terrorising a young family in their home had 315 previous convictions between them.
The seven men - who are part of a criminal outfit based in Coolock, North Dublin - were sentenced at Clonmel Circuit Court yesterday for their terrifying raid on the family home of Mark and Emma Corcoran, and their three young daughters.
Just one member of the gang - Michael McDonagh - had no previous convictions.
Another member - Thomas Flynn (21) - was out on bail at the time of the raid on the Corcoran's home in Co Tipperary in November 2013. Flynn had been charged just two weeks beforehand with possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Below is a breakdown of the previous convictions each defendant had prior to their savage attack on Mark and Emma Corcoran.
* John Joyce was driving the Volkswagen Passat which was apprehended by gardaí as it drove on the motorway back to Dublin from Co Tipperary early on November 21 of 2013, following the raid at the home of Emma and Mark Corcoran and their three daughters.
From Donaghmede in north Dublin, the 21-year-old is a married man with two daughters and Clonmel Circuit Court was told he has 55 previous convictions.
His senior counsel said John Joyce was at the “low range of cognitive function” and had a hearing problem from childhood which also affected his speech.
Most (46) of his convictions are for road traffic offences, along with two for dangerous driving, one for failing to stop at a garda checkpoint, one for failing to appear in court, and four under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
* His brother, Patrick Joyce (23) who lives in Beaumount in Dublin 9, has 16 previous convictions, several of them for road traffic offences along with public order offences, possession of stolen property, theft, trespass, dangerous driving, criminal damage, and failure to appear in court.
Patrick Joyce was a front-seat passenger in the Volkswagen Passat which was owned and driven by his brother.
* Thomas Flynn (21), a single man from Coolock, has 20 previous convictions which included offences under the Public Order Act, the Road Traffic Act, Misuse of Drugs Act, along with theft, danerous driving, and possession of a firearm and ammunition.
He was on bail at the time of the incident at the Corcorans’ home outside Killenaule in Co Tipperary, in relation to possession of a firearm and ammunition just two weeks’ beforehand. He was since given a three and a half year prison term, which he is currently serving, for this crime.
Flynn was interviewed by investigating gardaí nine times in relation to this aggravated burglary and, during the ninth interview, said "I'm sorry but it was nothing to do with me”.
* A back-seat passenger in the Passat, Michael McDonagh, is originally from Banagher in Co Offaly but has lived in Dublin for some years with his girlfriend. The only member of the gang with no previous convictions, the 23-year-old took part in the raid “in part-payment of a drug debt,” his barrister Shane Costello SC told the court.
As with several of the defendants, McDonagh had written a letter of apology to the Corcoran family but the court heard from Detective Sergeant James White that the Corcorans had rejected all apologies, believing them to be “self-serving”.
* Donal O’Hara was the fifth raider caught in the Volkswagen Passat as gang members attempted to flee from gardaí. The 22-year-old from Coolock told gardaí during interviews that he was picked up by the Passat “outside the cinema in Coolock” on the night of the raid but didn’t go into the Corcorans’ house. One of the others said “that went arse” when they emerged from the family home,” he said.
He has 19 previous convictions, all but two of them for road traffic offences, along with one for burglary and one under the Public Order Act.
* Patrick Gately (28) from Darndale was driving the Kia Sorrento which the gang stole from the Corcorans, which eventually had to stop near Newlands Cross after being seen by pursuing gardaí weaving in and out of rush hour traffic and driving along the grass median in the motorway.
The possessor of 85 previous convictions, Gately lost both his parents at an early age and was effectively raised by his brother, the court heard. Many of his convictions were for road traffic offences, along with 11 under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 10 for the unauthorised taking of a vehicle, four for dangerous driving, and others for criminal damage, assault, endangerment, theft, handling stolen property, and public order offences.
He told gardaí he was told to go down the country and collect a jeep in part-payment of a drug debt. He was driven there by “a traveller known as Scotch Paddy,” he said in a garda interview, and told them that cash found in his sock after his arrest was from the sale of a piebald horse.
* Dean Byrne (22) from Cabra was the passenger in the stolen Kia and said in garda interviews that he was thumbing a lift on the night of the raid and was picked up by the Kia Sorrento which the gang stole from the Corcorans’ home. Byrne has 120 previous convictions, 80 of them for road traffic offences along with criminal damage, unauthorised taking of a vehicle, failing to appear in court, misuse of drugs, public order offences, drink driving, dangerous driving, and violent disorder.
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