Former FF Senator Francis O’Brien pleads guilty to extortion
Former politician was remanded on continuing bail
Photograph: Cyril Byrne Senator Francis O Brien, Ballybay, Co. Monaghan.
A retired Fianna Fail senator has pleaded guilty to a charge of demanding €100,000 with menaces in Co Monaghan. Francis O’Brien (70), a father of four, of Corwillan, Latton, Castleblayney, County Monaghan has been remanded on continuing bail to the November 12th sitting of Carrick-on Shannon Circuit Court.
Mr O’Brien was an Oireachtas Senator from 1989 to 2011.
He is charged with attempting to make gain for himself or others, by making an unwarranted demand for €100,000 (£85,000) from Michael Heelan, with menaces, at Tullyvaragh Lower, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan on 13th April last year.
Mr O’Brien appeared briefly standing in the body of Monaghan Circuit Courtroom in Monaghan Town today 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.
Senior counsel for the defendant, Mr Jonathon Kilfeather then requested that Mr O’ Brien’s case be adjourned and transferred to a sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Court on November 12th. There was no objection from Mr Frank Martin BL instructed by State Solicitor,Mr Barry Healy. Bail conditions imposed on the former senator from a previous sitting remain in place.
Two other co-accused in the case Michael Marron (56) of Taghart North, Shercock, County Cavan and Raymond McCaughey (57) of Drumganus, Broomfield, County Monaghan have had their cases adjourned to a future sitting of Monaghan Circuit Court. Similar bail conditions also remain on both defendants.