A new Fianna Fáil TD wrote a letter to a court on behalf of three men whose homes were this week raided as part of a major Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) investigation.
Longford-Westmeath TD Joe Flaherty described the three brothers as "extremely capable, very sharp and more than familiar with hard work" in a letter submitted during a trial for violent disorder.
Thomas (40), Denis (39), and Willie Hannafin (35), were given suspended sentences for the attack on a teenager.
The young man's back was sliced with a knife during the attack.
On Monday, the homes of all three men were among 12 residential properties, three commercial premises and one business raided by gardaí. CAB seized €110,000 and £14,000 (€15,570) in cash along with three caravans and 11 vehicles including a Mercedes, Skoda Kodiaq, Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger and a Toyota Land Cruiser.
Two Rolex watches were seized, as were designer handbags and shoes.
In June, it emerged Mr Flaherty submitted a letter to Longford Circuit Court during a trial involving the three Hannafins.
In the letter, the Fianna Fáil TD said he was "deeply disappointed" by the actions of the three brothers and said local feuds were having a negative impact on Longford.
Mr Flaherty said he knew the men before the court and "many members of their family".
"Ordinarily, they are likeable men, very committed to family, and I am aware that a shadow of tragedy has hung over them in recent years,' he said.
"All three men are extremely capable, very sharp and more than familiar with hard work. I would like to think and hope that the actions before the court are not likely to happen again but, unfortunately, feuding has been a huge problem and stigma for Longford town," he added.
Mr Flaherty said it will take men like the three brothers to be "strong enough to stand out amongst their community, acknowledge the damage" and "assure the wide public that these actions are now in the past".
"This letter is by no means an attempt to sway the court as I know that all three are fully aware of the severity of the charges that they face and must atone for the consequences of their actions," he added.
Yesterday, Mr Flaherty initially said he would comment on the letter but did not respond to questions about the letter and the CAB raid.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin's spokesperson also did not respond to requests for comment.
During an interview on Shannonside Radio when the letter first emerged, he insisted it was "not a character reference" for the three brothers.
"At no stage did I attempt to say their behaviour was acceptable," he said.
"They know my position on feuding, they know I'm repulsed by it and I also stated in the letter that it needs strong people from their community to stand forward, acknowledge the damage done to the wider community and assure the wider public these actions are in the past," he added.
He said the letter was not an "attempt to encourage to take one route or another".
Mr Flaherty is a first-time TD who was elected to the Dáíl in the January General Election.
On Monday, several Garda units including the Emergency Response Unit were involved in the early morning CAB raids on more than a dozen properties in Longford.
The operation was part of a long-running investigation into criminal activity in the Midlands. Financial accounts holding €80,000 were frozen by gardaí.