An elderly businessman whose family was threatened and savagely beaten by a gang says he believes the gang who terrorised the Corcoran family in Tipperary should never be released from prison.
Frank Duane, who is in his 70s, said his own family’s nightmare at the hands of a gang had all the hallmarks of the nightmare ordeal suffered by Frank and Emma Corcoran and their young family in Tipperary.
A seven-man gang is beginning jail terms of up to 20 years each for the raid on the young family on November 20, 2013.
“It was horrible what they did to the Corcoran family,” he said. “They should never be let out again, for what they have done.”
Mr Duane and his son Anthony were both beaten with an iron bar by armed gang members who escaped with €10,000 from their business and home in Kiltullagh, Co Galway, on February 20 last year.
The gang held Mr Duane’s wife Mary captive with a shotgun found in the house as she led them to a safe.
The masked men had shown “no mercy” and had threatened to shoot his wife unless she did everything that they demanded, said Mr Duane. He said there was “no question” they would have shot her if she had done otherwise.
The Duanes were in their home alongside the family-run grocery, hardware store, post office, and filling station when the raiders burst in late at night.
One of the men struck Mr Duane across the legs with an iron bar, knocking him back into a chair, while another took Ms Duane into the kitchen. Their unsuspecting son Anthony walked in on the raid and was immediately shouted at and beaten round the head with the iron bar and a claw hammer. He was left lying in a pool of blood.
The gang escaped and nobody has been caught for the aggravated robbery.
“I remember it well, the torture we went through,” Mr Duane told Galway FM yesterday. “It was horrible what they did to the Corcoran family and maybe it was someone like them who came to us as well.
“The way they acted with the Corcoran family, they acted much the same with us. They didn’t care how they hurt you. They didn’t give a damn. They had a gun if they didn’t do everything they told me.
“[One of the gang] told me he’d shoot me. They would have shot me, I’d say, if I didn’t co-operate in every way. They meant business when they hit you straight away. That was a big warning enough. They just didn’t care about you. It’s a long time to be with three guys —it was over an hour.”
Mr Duane said he could not bring himself to forgive the raiders who destroyed the peace of his family home.
“I don’t really because, if they only came in and took what they wanted, you’d say nothing, but the way they treated Anthony as well, it was just shocking,” he said. “They didn’t care if they killed him or not.”
Now he and his wife spend much of their time monitoring the numerous CCTV cameras installed inside and outside their home and business — they even have one installed in their bedroom.
“You shouldn’t have to live like this,” said Mr Duane. “You should be able to live in your own house in comfort. It’s a sad day.
“Every night we wonder, are they around again tonight — that’s what happens.
“It never left my head anyway. I never heard of anybody being caught for what happened to us.”
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