Saturday 3 December 2016

Garda investigation into 'glassing' at pub where Fine Gael TD was present

Philip Ryan and Adam Cullen

Published 25/08/2015 | 02:30

Sean Conlan
Sean Conlan

A Fine Gael TD was present in a Co Monaghan pub on Sunday night during a fracas which left a man needing medical attention for minor stab wounds.

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Sean Conlan is believed to have been enjoying a drink in his family pub, Conlan's in Ballybay, when a fight broke out between two men.

Gardaí last night said they were called to the pub, which is beside the TD's constituency office, to deal with a "minor stabbing incident" shortly after 8pm.

It is understood that a physical altercation erupted after a row boiled over.

An eyewitness told the Irish Independent that a man in his 20s was "headbutted" and later stabbed in the arm with a glass by an older individual.

Gardaí were last night taking statements from witnesses who were in the bar at the time.

Senior sources said: "We are investigating all aspects of this incident. As in lots of these cases, there is two sides to the story."

It is believed one of the men involved in the spat has made a statement to gardaí.

The pub, which has been in Mr Conlan's family for a number of years, is currently leased out to a third party.

The Monaghan TD was last night unavailable for comment.

Mr Conlan hit the headlines last year when a British antique dealer wrote to the Taoiseach when she could not contact Mr Conlan about a €10,000 ring she believed he intended to buy for his fiancée.

He had intended to buy the ring for his girlfriend and parliamentary assistant Sarah Comiskey after spotting it at an antiques fair in the UK, but decided not to after he had it appraised by an antiques dealer in Dublin.

At the time, he said there had been a "breakdown in communications for a number of hours" with antique dealer Freya Hart. He later stressed that the matter had been resolved and that the ring had been returned.

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He hit the headlines again in February when an employment court ordered him to pay his former secretary €25,000 after they found she had been unfairly dismissed.

During a three-day hearing in front of the Employment Appeals Tribunal, Cathy Shevlin claimed she was "bullied and harassed" by Mr Conlan and forced to take stress-related sick leave.

The tribunal heard how a breakdown in communication between Ms Shevlin and Mr Conlan's fiancé Sarah Comiskey resulted in workplace tensions.

Mr Conlan denied the allegation and claimed he dismissed his secretary because she publicly undermined him on social media and gave voting information to his political rivals.

He has appealed the decision.

Irish Independent

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