Friday 21 October 2016

Isolated, vulnerable, terrorised, murdered… a nation's litany of shame

The ordeal suffered by the Corcorans has been replicated countless times.

Graham Clifford

Published 04/10/2015 | 02:30

Peter Logan in his hospital bed after his brother was beaten to death in a raid on their Co Meath home in 2000.
Peter Logan in his hospital bed after his brother was beaten to death in a raid on their Co Meath home in 2000.

Since 2000, in particular, the rates of violent robberies across rural Ireland have increased dramatically with gardaí ­struggling to cope with the crime wave. In particular, ­pensioners have been targeted as well as those in the farming community. Some of the attacks on homes in rural Ireland have claimed lives and literally stopped us in our tracks.

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June 2000, Castlejordan, Co Meath:

81-year-old farmer Paddy Logan is beaten to death for the sake of €50. He and his elderly brother Peter were listening to a Westmeath-Laois GAA match on the radio when the burglars barged into the home of the pensioners.

August 2004, Donegal town: A 92-year-old man is bound and gagged by intruders wearing balaclavas. John Logue spends 15-hours tied up and isn't found until the next day. The intruders enter the home of the pensioner as he lets his two pet dogs out for the night.

January 2009, Bandon, Cork:

A 60-year-old widow dies from a blunt force trauma to the head. The body of Ann Corcoran, from Kilbrittain, is found a week later in nearby woods. An attempt was made to burn her body before it was dumped in a shallow grave.

November 2009, Kilkenny:  Adrian Ronan, a former All-Ireland winning hurler, and his young family are terrorised by a gang who attempt a tiger kidnapping. The Ronans wake at 5am to find three masked men in their bedroom. Raiders cable-tie Mr Ronan's hands and tell him: "You're going to do a job for us. We're taking your wife and you're going to get us €3m. Do you want your kids to be without a mother for Christmas?" The raider's plans for Adrian, a bank official, to take millions for a Bank of Ireland branch in Kilkenny city are thwarted and the attempted robbery is foiled.

June 2012, Ballyroe, Williamstown, Galway: Two elderly bachelor brothers are beaten up, robbed and tied in their remote Galway farmhouse. Michael Kelly (82) and Owen Kelly (80) are held at knife and gun point. Their ordeal lasts three hours as intruders ransacked their home.

September 2012, Sligo: Retired telecoms broker Eugene Gillespie (67) is found tied up and dead in the hallway of his home by his nephew and his brother, two days after being assaulted.

July 2013, Castlebar, Mayo: The peace of a country town is shattered as elderly brothers Jack (68) and Tom (70) Blaine are found dead in their home. The two men had been brutally beaten to death by intruders. Both men had physical disabilities and were mentally impaired, while Jack was deaf and was almost completely non-verbal due to a speech impediment.

February, 2014, Glenties, Donegal: A gang terrorise, beat and rob a 77-year-old man leaving him for dead. The intruders flee with a sum of money and a firearm they found in the home of pensioner Gerry McDevitt.

July 2014, Crosserlough, Cavan: A shop owner wakes to find to his house alarm triggered and four masked gunmen in his house. Rodney Dolan and his family are threatened before he is bundled into a jeep while raiders, having accessed security access codes, rob Dolan's Centra shop in Ballyjamesduff.

July 2014, Mahon, Cork: An elderly woman and her disabled daughter were tied up in their home by three masked raiders who escaped with more than €10,000 of their savings. Gardaí believed the raiders were targeting cash and valuables to pay for drugs.

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