Tuesday 16 January 2018

TD Conlan bailed over alleged pub 'glass' attack

Former Fine Gael TD Sean Conlan leaves court
Former Fine Gael TD Sean Conlan leaves court
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

A former Fine Gael TD was remanded on bail after being charged with assaulting a man at the family pub last August.

Sean Conlan (40), of Ballybay, Co Monaghan, was arrested outside the courthouse in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, yesterday morning prior to the hearing.

The Cavan-Monaghan deputy - who is now an Independent following his resignation from the Fine Gael party last month - faces two charges.

He is accused of being in breach of Section 11 of the Firearms and Weapons act (producing an article capable of causing serious injury during a dispute) and a second charge of assault causing harm under the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person act.

The hearing, before Judge Denis McLoughlin at Carrickmacross District Court, heard a man sustained a wound causing "serious damage" to the arm and requiring stitches, after being allegedly glassed in the incident. The incident is alleged to have occurred in the Conlan family pub in Ballybay on August 23.

The court heard the State did not object to bail and Mr Conlan was released on his own bond of €100 on condition that he does not attempt to contact either the victim or the witnesses in this case. Mr Conlan did not speak in court during the brief hearing.

He will appear again in court on January 27 next when Judge McLoughlin will decide whether to hear the case at District Court level or pass it up to the Circuit Court.

Mr Conlan - who was first elected to the Dáil in 2011 -resigned from Fine Gael last month over what he claimed was a disagreement over the party's decision on the controversial North-South Interconnector pylon project.

However, it is understood that he was told by party officials that he would not be ratified as a Fine Gael candidate for the general election if he was charged over the alleged assault.

In a subsequent statement, Mr Conlan claimed that as the "grandson of a man who had fought for Irish independence" and the son of a man who represented the Fine Gael party for 49 years, he was "deeply saddened and disappointed by what has been done to the Fine Gael party by those at the top".

He claimed he felt he can speak more freely as an independent about the North-South Interconnector and other issues affecting his constituents, pointing out that he represented the Monaghan Anti-Pylon Committee before he entered national politics and said it was an issue close to him.

Irish Independent

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