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 to the November 12 sitting of Carrick-on Shannon Circuit Court.
He was represented in Monaghan Circuit Court by defence barrister Jonathon Kilfeather SC.
Mr O’Brien was also represented in court by Mr Ken Connolly BL and solicitor Seamus Mallon.
He was a senator from 1989 to 2011.
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 briefly standing in the body of Monaghan Circuit Courtroom in Monaghan Town as the charge was read out to him by the clerk of the court.
“How do you plead?” Mr O’Brien was asked.
“Guilty,” replied Mr O’Brien quietly.
Mr Kilfeather then 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 Mr Frank Martin BL, instructed by State Solicitor Barry Healy. Bail conditions imposed on the former senator from a previous sitting remain in place.
By Joe McCabe