The first person to be tried arising out of the Carty Inquiry into allegations into Garda corruption in Donegal has received a three-year suspended prison sentence.

Forty-six-year-old Bernard Conlon of 61, Cartron Bay, Sligo, was found guilty last March on three counts of making false statements to Gardaí. He had claimed that two associates of Donegal publican, Frank McBrearty, had threatened to kill him with a silver bullet.

In his defence, Conlon claimed he was paid to make the allegations by a Garda who cannot be named by order of the court. Evidence was heard that this Garda and another member of the force referred to Conlon as Detective Garda Conlon.

Sentencing Conlon today, Judge Carroll Moran said this is a very serious case. He said any judge would have to take a very grave view because to tolerate this type of offence would seriously undermine the entire system of justice.

The Judge referred to evidence that Conlon was mildly mentally retarded and had previous convictions, but he said on the case of the prosecution, Conlon had the least serious involvement and had been manipulated by others who had not been prosecuted.

He said in these circumstances it would be wrong to impose an immediate prison sentence.