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Thugs receive lengthy sentences for violent home invasion

CourtsBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
Thugs receive lengthy sentences for violent home invasion

The seven members of a gang who threatened to murder children during a terrifying home invasion in Tipperary have today been sentenced to 72-years in total.

The thugs appeared before Judge Tom Teehan at Clonmel Court this morning.

Before sentencing Judge Teehan said that the Corcoran family suffered “catastrophic changes to their lives.”


Dean Byrne, who had 120 previous convictions, was sentenced to 20-years with 4 suspended.

Michael McDonagh was handed 12-years with 7 suspended.

Donal O’Hara was given 12-years with 7 suspended.

Thomas Flynn will serve 12-years with 3 suspended.

Patrick Joyce, who entered an early plea of guilty, received 12-years with 4 suspended.

Patrick Gately was sentenced to 20-years with 4 suspended.

John Joyce who had 55 previous convictions was jailed for 15-years with 4 suspended.


The gang, led by Coolock man John Joyce, smashed their way into a Tipperary home and terrorised a family, warning that they would shoot the couple’s three kids if they didn’t hand over cash.

The Sunday World can reveal the gang was also responsible for numerous other cowardly home invasions as well as gun and pipe bomb attacks.

Brave Emma Corcoran called 999 as the raiders smashed the sitting room window of her home in November 2013.

Her husband Mark went to investigate as their three daughters – then aged eight, six and three – slept in the next room.

Gardai said the screams of the young daughters could be heard on the 999 call, along with one of the thugs saying: “I’ll shoot the kids”.

Mark Corcoran was viciously assaulted in front of his family during the incident and suffered severe injuries, while the heartless gang threatened the entire family.

One of the terrified children shouted “daddy is dead”, after he was knocked with the butt of a gun in the head, leaving a pool of blood on the floor.

The Sunday World can reveal members of his gang were suspected of carrying out several gun attacks on homes in the Coolock area of north Dublin last year while he was out on bail.

The seven admitted entering the Corcoran home on November 21, 2013, at Burnchurch, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary, on November 21, 2013, with intent to commit a theft while in possession of a shotgun, handgun, and machete.

Before their arrest for the Corcoran robbery, the gang had been terrorising families and small business owners across the country during rampages in stolen cars.

In the months before the Tipperary break-in, the same gang was suspected of being behind two other violent robberies in nearby Littleton.

The gang had been on the radar for years and intelligence suggested that they got more of a kick out of terrorising innocent victims than from the rewards of their crimes – which averaged from €1,000 to no more than €20,000 at a time