NewsCrime Desk

Garda surveillance of burglary gang stopped hours before brutal raid

Crime DeskBy Sunday World
Members of the gang at court this week
Members of the gang at court this week

The undercover unit who were tracking the seven man gang of thugs who terrorised Ireland through theft stood down just hours the thugs broke into the home of the Corcoran family and committed the crime that has outraged the entire country.

Independent.ie are reporting that the officers from the National Surveillance Unit (NSU) had been tracking the gang and they had intelligence that they were to planning to commit a robbery on the nights of November 21 and 22.

The armed Emergency Response Unit (ERU) were also prepared to step in and intercept the gang.

However, sources have told the paper that the Garda operation was called off close to midnight after it was believed the gang had changed their plans.

"The intelligence was that this particular gang was planning to carry out a robbery somewhere in the country around this time but it was not known where or when it would take place," a source confirmed last night.

"This particular crew had been under surveillance on and off for weeks before this incident and some of them had been involved in a chase in a stolen car with false plates just two weeks earlier.

"On the night in question, someone decided that it was unlikely that the gang was going to actually do anything on that night and it was called off," the source added. 

A Garda spokesperson, however, has told the paper that the operation was not stood down.

On November 21, 2013 the gang of seven men broke into the home of the Corcoran family, at Burnchurch, near Killenaule in south Tipperary.

The raiders were armed with a sawn-off shotgun, a handgun and a machete and all of them were wearing balaclavas.

"The five were awoken from sleep in the family home in the most violent manner by what must have seemed like an army of sinister-looking intruders," the Judge Teehan said at their sentencing this week.

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

On Thursday the gang members were jailed for a total of 72-years for the terrifying ordeal they put the Corcorans through.