The seven were all arrested in the hours following the incident at a rural house owned by a business couple near Killenaule in south Tipperary. They were held for questioning at a number of Garda stations since Thursday and charged late on Saturday night and yesterday morning.
Each has been charged with one count of aggravated burglary at a house at Burnchurch, Killenaule, Co Tipperary, on November 24 last. The maximum sentence if convicted is life imprisonment. Judge Terence Finn remanded all seven in custody to appear at Cashel district court again on Thursday.
The men arrived at Cashel courthouse at 10.48am yesterday in a number of marked and unmarked garda cars, with armed regional support teams accompanying the convoy.
A number of family members of the men gathered outside the courthouse as the suspects were brought in, and then sat in the body of the court while waiting for the remand hearing to begin.
Those charged are John Joyce, aged 19, of 1, Lentisk Lawn, The Donaghies, Donaghmede, Dublin; Patrick Joyce, aged 21, of 33, Beaumont Hall, Beaumont Woods, Dublin 9; Michael McDonagh, aged 22, of 5, Tara Lawns, Belcamp Lane, Coolock, Dublin 17; Thomas Flynn aged 19, of 27, Moatview Avenue, Coolock, Dublin 17; Donal O’Hara aged 21, of 29, Glin Park, Coolock, Dublin 17; Dean Byrne aged 21, of flat 1, 27, Cabra Park, Dublin 7, and Patrick Gately, aged 26, of Primrose Grove, Darndale, Dublin 17.
The court heard Patrick Gately said “no comment” when charged by gardaí; Dean Byrne said “I’ll say it in court” when charged in a Garda station and Donal O’Hara said “I wasn’t in that fucking house” when charged. The others made no reply.
All seven are unemployed and free legal aid was granted by Judge Finn in all cases. The court heard Patrick Gately is supporting his girlfriend and a three-year-old child. Dean Byrne is living with his father.
An application was made on Michael McDonagh’s behalf to have him remanded to Cloverhill Prison rather than Limerick Prison. Judge Terence Finn said he would not be making such a recommendation but it was open to Michael McDonagh to apply to the prison services for such a transfer.
Similar applications were made on behalf of Thomas Flynn and Patrick Joyce but turned down. The court heard Patrick Joyce’s wife is expecting their first child and is five months pregnant.
The only accused to apply for bail was Donal O’Hara but this was opposed by the State.
In the witness box to oppose bail, Detective Sergeant James White said Mr O’Hara was one of a group who left Dublin last week and carried out an aggravated burglary in a remote, rural location outside Killenaule.
Judge Terence Finn refused the bail application. All seven suspects have been remanded in custody and will appear again in court on Thursday.