A 20-year-old man involved in the robbery of an elderly man in rural west Clare has been given a three-year prison sentence.

Two other men who were involved in the same robbery were given three-year suspended sentences at Ennis Circuit Court this afternoon.

The victim, 68-year-old Michael McMahon, was so fearful after two robberies at his home at Cree in February 2012 that he left his home on his bicycle and sought refuge in a nursing home 48km (30 miles) away.

He has never returned to his home.

Mr McMahon lived at his isolated cottage where he had no electricity or no running water.

He was left scared after he was robbed and threatened on two dates in February 2012.

A number of men entered his home initially on 21 February in which Mr McMahon was robbed of €4,000.

He was robbed again four days later when €3,000 he had just withdrawn from the bank was taken.

Following the two incidents, he left his home in the early hours of the morning with his few possessions and embarked on an eight-hour cycle to a nursing home in Ennis to seek refuge.

Joseph Lernihan, 21, of Finnanon Park, Mullagh, Co Clare pleaded guilty to robbing Mr McMahon on 21 and 25 February.

Noel Garry, 20, of Tullycrine, Kilrush and Shane Donnellan, also 20, of Cree pleaded guilty to robbing Mr McMahon on 25 February.

The court today heard all three have apologised to Mr McMahon and were willing to pay financial compensation to Mr McMahon for his loss.

Judge Carroll Moran imposed a three-year sentence on Garry for his part in the robbery.

Donnellan and Lernihan were given three-year suspended sentences. 

Garry has a number of previous convictions for robbery and criminal damage.

He was also given a consecutive three-year term for another robbery committed six months later at the home of an 82-year-old woman in west Clare.

He was on bail at the time for the McMahon robbery.