A RETIRED Fianna Fail senator has pleaded guilty to a charge of demanding €100,000 with menaces.
Francis O'Brien (70), a father of four from Corwillan, Latton, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, has been remanded on continuing bail for sentencing next month.
He was a senator from 1989 to 2011 and also a member of Monaghan County Council from 1979 to 2003.
Mr O'Brien was charged with attempting to make gain for himself or others, by making an unwarranted demand for €100,000 from Michael Heelan, with menaces, at Tullyvaragh Lower, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, on April 13 last year.
Mr O'Brien appeared in the body of Monaghan Circuit Courtroom in Monaghan town as the charge was read to him by the clerk of the court. "How do you plead?" Mr O'Brien was asked.
"Guilty," replied Mr O'Brien quietly.
He was represented in Monaghan Circuit Court by defence barrister Jonathon Kilfeather, who successfully sought the transfer of the sentencing hearing to Carrick-on-Shannon.
Mr O'Brien was also represented in court by barrister Ken Connolly and solicitor Seamus Mallon.
Mr Kilfeather requested that Mr O'Brien's case be adjourned and transferred to a sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Court on November 12.
There was no objection from Frank Martin, instructed by State Solicitor Barry Healy. The request was approved by Judge John O'Hagan.
Bail conditions imposed from a previous sitting remain in place.