The men broke into two rural homes five years ago
Three men have been sentenced to nearly 50 years for violent aggravated burglaries at two rural homes in Co Limerick five years ago.
53-year-old Patrick Roche from Kilcronan Close, Clondalkin in Dublin, and his son 24-year-old Philip Roche, were jailed for 17 years and 15 years respectively.
Patrick Roche's son-in-law, 37-year-old Alan Freeman from Pearse Park, Tipperary Park was jailed for 14 years.
The final three years of each of the accused men's sentences were suspended.
Patrick and Philip Roche broke into the home of pensioner siblings, Willie, Nora and Christie Creed; tied them up and beat them and robbed €5,000 in cash.
Six weeks later they broke into the home of the Garvey family, tied them up, assaulted them, and threatened them at gunpoint.
Speaking afterwards, Tommie Creed - a brother of the three pensioners assaulted by the Roches - said he was happy with the sentences handed down.
"Very good - I was amazed with the sentences they got, and a pity there wouldn't be more judges like him.
"The country'd be a safer place".
Gerry Garvey, who along with his family was held at gunpoint and robbed by the three-man gang, praised gardaí for bringing them to justice.
"We're pleased generally that justice has been served - I think the sentences are a very good deterrent and I think it sends a very strong message out that crime is not acceptable and that rural communities can be protected.
"If the gardaí are given resources, they can do a very good job.
"And I think it sends a message that rural communities are valued and that the gardaí should be given the resources they need: they've proved their worth in this case".
Reporting by: David Raleigh