News

Taxpayer forked out €35k to defend scumbag burglars

NewsBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
Dean Byrne
Dean Byrne
Patrick Gately
Patrick Gately
John Joyce
John Joyce
Patrick Joyce
Patrick Joyce
Thomas Flynn
Thomas Flynn
Donal O'Hara
Donal O'Hara
Michael McDonagh
Michael McDonagh

Seven burglars who were sentenced to a total of 72-years behind bars for a horrific burglary cost the Irish taxpayer €35,000 to defend.

None of the jobless criminals could afford their own representation so the state was left footing the bill.

A legal source today revealed that the bill so far was at least €33,607.

While the thugs pleaded guilty their legal team would have argued mitigating factors in an attempt to reduce their sentences.

Each of the seven men had a Senior counsel, a Junior counsel and a solicitor – all paid for by the taxpayer through the free legal aid system.

Yesterday the men appeared before Judge Tom Teehan at Clonmel Court.

The judge said the case had multiple aggravating factors, the most significant of which was the effect it had on the Corcoran family, whose home, at Burnchurch, near Killenaule in south Tipperary, was broken into by the gang early on November 21, 2013.

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 said.

The gang, led by Coolock man John Joyce, smashed their way into the Corcoran’s Tipperary home in November 2013 and terrorised the family, warning that they would shoot the couple’s three kids if they didn’t hand over cash.

Their family solicitor described arriving at the home following the horrific ordeal.

Speaking to RTE Radio One's Liveline, the family's solicitor Kieran Cleary said he will 'never forget the fear in the young children's faces'.

"Myself and my son, who is a solicitor, went over in the morning and it was like the Holocaust," he said.

"I've never seen anything like it in a home, the fear there, the fear on the children, they were frozen with it.

"It was frightening, they were terrified, they couldn't speak or let go of their mother. If their father went to the kitchen they were terrified. It was horrific.

"They came through the door and the window of this lovely country bungalow. Mrs Corcoran is a petite lady and her husband isn't a big man.

"They were roaring, shouting, banging drawers and kicking doors.

"It was like they had been attacked by an army. The doors were smashed, the window was smashed, furniture was hammered with hatchets, I can't even describe it," he continued.

"It was just horrific. But it was the fear on the children, I'll never forget that, as a parent and a grandparent.

"It's incredible that you could frighten a two-year-old like that." 

Judge teehan jailed the animals for a total of 72-years.

  • 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.