A man who denied making a false statement to gardaí, alleging he was assaulted in a Limerick pub by Defence Minister Willie O'Dea, has been convicted.
Matt Larkin of Altamira Court, Thomond Gate, alleged that Mr O'Dea had hit him three or four times in the stomach and grabbed him by the throat at The Bank bar on 22 September last year.
Larkin has been given a three-month suspended sentence.
The district court heard evidence from all parties about the incident during which extensive CCTV footage taken from the pub was also shown.
Having reviewed the evidence and the CCTV overnight, Judge Tom O'Donnell said he paid particular attention to the body language of the accused and the minister.
He said he does not accept that Mr O'Dea grabbed Larkin by the throat in a vicious manner or that he was struck in the stomach as alleged in the statement.
He said it was quite clear Larkin had a vexed agenda and wanted to let the minister know, in no uncertain terms, how he felt about a number of matters, including Shannon Airport, the Corrib gas field, the Mahon Tribunal and Bertie Ahern.
Judge O'Donnell said he also found it bizarre that the brother of the accused, who gave evidence, did absolutely nothing when his brother was allegedly struck and grabbed.
He imposed a three-month suspended sentence on Larkin, who the court heard had 14 previous convictions. He was released on his own bail pending an appeal.