'You feel completely helpless': Family held at gunpoint in home tell of horrific ordeal

L-R: Patrick Roche; Philip Roche; and Alan Freeman. Photo: Press 22

A family-of-six endured a horrific and terrifying ordeal when a number of men broke into their home in Pallasgreen in Limerick in April 2012.

The men threatened them at gunpoint and assaulted them.

Weeks later, Gerry and Ann Garvey’s three elderly neighbours were subjected to a brutal and frightening assault when they were attacked and robbed by the same men.

On Friday the three men, 54-year-old Patrick Roche, his son Philip Roche aged 24, both with addresses in Clondalkin in Dublin, and a son-in-law Alan Freeman with an address in Tipperary town were given lengthy prison sentences for their parts in the two violent robberies.

Gerry and Ann Garvey spoke on Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning to tell their story.

Gerry told Sean about being pinned to the ground with the butt of a shotgun pressed against his forehead for some time.

"It's quite a frightening moment, you feel completely helpless, there's absolutely nothing you can do to help yourself or your family," he said.

Ann spoke of how the men returned six weeks later, and how her neighbours were left for dead as a result of the assault upon them.

"Those three people, they were left for dead. It was an incredible situation, it went on for two and a half hours," she said.

"Nearly six years on, they don't go out. We don't see them."

Speaking of the cost to the tax payer, Gerry said that the trial of the three men cost was over €1 million.

He spoke of prevention being better than cure, looking for even half of that to be put towards preventative measures that would help gardaí, that that would be money better spent.

Listen to the interview in full here:

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