Cork brothers carried out post office robbery to clear drugs debt amid 'very real' threats from crime gang

Cork brothers carried out post office robbery to clear drugs debt amid 'very real' threats from crime gang
Little Island Post OfficePicture: Jim Coughlan.

A 40-year-old man trying to put his criminal past behind him acted with misguided loyalty to join his troubled younger brother for a post office robbery to clear a drugs debt.

James Carey, 40, was the getaway driver for the robbery at Little Island post office and today he was jailed for 18 months for his part in the crime.

Detective Garda Edmond O’Donoghue confirmed at the sentencing hearing that shots were fired at the home of the partner of James Carey’s brother, John Paul Carey, because of a drugs debt John Paul had with Dublin criminals.

The detective said that it was an off-duty garda who spotted the two Careys in a car with two known Dublin criminals in a shopping centre car park in Glanmire.

“They chose to hand over the money in a crowded shopping centre. 

"They feared that if they met in a more secluded area they could have been taken out,” Det. Garda O’Donoghue said.

Sinead Behan, defence barrister, said that James Carey of 4 Courtown Park, Knocknaheeny, Cork, only became involved in the robbery to help his brother who was being threatened by Dublin criminals in respect of a significant drugs debt.

They were handing the €300 in five-euro notes to the Dublin men in the car in Glanmire when the off-duty garda spotted them.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said James Carey was acted out of a misguided sense of loyalty to his brother.

The judge jailed him for 18 months.

Detective Garda O’Donoghue said the threats made against John Paul Carey, 32, of 9 Brooklodge Grove, Glanmire, County Cork, to repay this debt were very real.

The detective said at a sentencing for John Paul Carey earlier this year it was not just threats and that two gunshots were discharged at the home of one of Carey’s relatives.

Detective Garda O’Donoghue said the robbery was carried out at 9.20am on May 23 2019.

“Two males entered Little Island post office. One had a firearm and the other had a wheel brace. 

"They demanded money. They got away with €300 in five-euro notes. They fled the scene in a black Mondeo,” he said.

Judge James McCourt imposed a sentence of four and a half years, backdated to last May, with the last two years suspended in respect of John Paul Carey last February.

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