Saturday 22 October 2016

Smirking thugs laugh and joke as they're jailed for barbaric attack on family

Dean Byrne
John Joyce
Patrick Joyce
Thomas Flynn
Michael McDonagh
Donal O'Hara

These seven thugs received a combined sentence of 105 years for terrorising a young family - but some still managed to smirk and blow kisses as they left court.

Mark and Emma Corcoran and their three young daughters were subjected to unimaginable, "barbaric" violence when the gang burst into their home looking for cash.

READ MORE: From roaring criminal to wearing Rosary beads for sentencing - the changing face of armed raider Thomas Flynn

Sentences of between five and 16 years were handed down to the men in their 20s from north Dublin, who carried out a terrifying raid on a young family causing "catastrophic changes" to their lives.

The raiders were armed with a sawn-off shotgun, a handgun and a machete and threatened to kill the children in the ordeal.

Dean Byrne

The court heard on Tuesday that Mr Corcoran suffered a fractured eye socket when he was struck on the face with a gun and that his wife was forcibly removed from her bedroom.

John Joyce

The two older daughters witnessed the event from the family's hallway and the youngest, who was two at the time, was found rocking herself in her cot.


Judge Thomas Teehan 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 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 in his sentencing.

Patrick Joyce

"No human being of any age should ever have to witness such an egregiously violent scene, and most especially in their own home.

"All three children have been emotionally-scarred by this ordeal. The effects on the youngest are particularly harrowing, even though she did not witness directly - as did her sisters - the full horror of what happened to their parents."

Thomas Flynn

The Corcorans had to close their successful gym-equipment business because of the incident and had also suffered other major financial losses because of securing their home and through medical expenses.

"Taking all of these effects together, it is clear that the Corcoran family, and each individual member, have suffered catastrophic changes to their lives," Judge Teehan said.

Michael McDonagh

The Corcorans' solicitor Kieran Cleary, who was one of the first on the scene after Mrs Corcoran called him, 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.

"They (the raiders) came through the door and the window of this lovely country bungalow. They were roaring, shouting, banging drawers and kicking doors. It was like the family 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 added on RTE's Liveline.

Donal O'Hara

"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."


The court heard earlier in the week that the "terrified screams" of the Corcorans' three young daughters, aged eight, six and two at the time of the burglary, could be heard by gardai through a 999 call made by Emma Corcoran as the incident was taking place.

Mr Cleary said that Mark Corcoran almost lost his eye after he was struck with the butt of a gun in the attack and has undergone four surgeries.

Yesterday as the seven men were led from the court in handcuffs, a few of them joked and smiled, blowing kisses to the waiting media.

Dean Byrne (22) of Cabra Park, Patrick Gately (28) of Primrose Grove, Darndale, John Joyce (21) of Lentisk Lawn, Donaghmede, Patrick Joyce (23) of Beaumont Hall, Beaumont Woods, Thomas Flynn (21) of Moatview Avenue, Coolock, Donal O'Hara (22) of Glin Park, Coolock, Michael McDonagh (23) of Tara Lawns, Coolock, Dublin 17, received sentences totalling 105 years - but when the suspended part of the sentence was taking into account they will spend just 72 years in prison.

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