| 8.9°C Dublin

Two walk free after robbery of elderly man

TWO men walked free from court and another was jailed for five years for the robbery of a 68-year-old Clare man who fled his home and cycled 30 miles to a nursing home.

Michael McMahon abandoned his property after the ordeal to check himself into the home where he remains today.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Carroll Moran gave suspended jail sentences to Joseph Lernihan (21), of Finnanon Park, Mullagh, for robbing Mr McMahon on February 21 and 25, 2012, and to Shane Donnellan (20), Clohanbeg, Cree, Kilrush, for the robbery of Mr McMahon on February 25, 2012.

A third man before Ennis Circuit Court, Noel Garry (20) of Tullycrine, Childish, was jailed for five years. Judge Moran imposed two consecutive jail terms on Garry as the offence was committed while he was on bail for a separate robbery.

Outlining the facts in court last January, Det Garda Donal Corkery said that Mr McMahon was living alone in the remote location two miles from the village of Cooraclare without any electricity or running water.


However, Det Corkery said that Mr McMahon had cash in his home from an inheritance.

Det Corkery said that over the two nights around €7,000 in cash was taken from Mr McMahon. He said that at 10pm on February 21, Mr McMahon heard banging outside his home and said that three masked three demanded €500 through a broken window.

State counsel, Stephen Coughlan BL said that the robbers "threatened to come into the house and search the house if he didn't give them more".

Mr Coughlan said that Mr McMahon "in a state of absolute fear" handed the robbers three jars containing roughly €4,000 in cash.

Det Corkery said that the robbers returned four nights later and again threatened the elderly man into handing over the rest of the money – €3,000.

Det Corkery said: "Mr McMahon is in good health, but he is fearful and has informed us that he will never return home."