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Ex-TD's son to fund criminal defence with defamation proceeds

THE son of a former Fianna Fail TD is to use the proceeds of a newspaper defamation action to fund his defence against charges of soliciting someone to kill a garda, a Revenue Commissioners official and an accountant.

The revelation came as Gary O'Flynn (37), the son of former Cork TD Noel O'Flynn, was remanded on ongoing bail.

Mr O'Flynn has recently settled a defamation action against 'The Irish Sun' newspaper which has provided him with a new asset in relation to his legal funds.

He yesterday appeared before Cork District Court charged with three counts of soliciting someone to commit murder between October 1, 2012, and February 15, 2013.

The charges involve an address on the Mallow Road in Cork.

The three individuals named in the charges are Detective Garda Mary Skehan, Revenue Commissioners official George Ross and accountant Patrick Sweeney.

The former Cork City Council member replied "not guilty" when each of the three charges were originally put to him at Gurranabraher garda station.

Judge Leo Malone was told by solicitor Joe Cuddigan that his client's application for further legal representation was being withdrawn.

Mr Cuddigan said: "Matters have moved on (since the last district court appearance). 'The Sun' newspaper has taken over the funding of Mr O'Flynn's legal representation as a result of a successful defamation action."

No details of the amount involved in the settlement were specified.

Mr Cuddigan said that while the issue of free legal aid would not now come before the district court again, it could arise when the matter was referred at a future date to Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Malone said that further submissions on the issue of free legal aid could be made before the district court on May 1. But he withdrew free legal aid for yesterday's court appearance and future appearances.

Mr O'Flynn, of Hayfield Drive, Castle Court, Whitechurch, Co Cork, had previously been granted free legal aid after telling the court he had no source of income.

He was remanded to appear again before Cork District Court on May 1.

Mr O'Flynn's father Noel was first elected to the Dail in 1997 and served as a TD for 14 years. He took his father's old seat on Cork City Council from 2003 until 2008.

Irish Independent