A former Co Clare GP has been acquitted of all charges of obtaining monies by deception from the families of two terminally ill cancer patients.

Judge Ray Fullam directed that the jury find Paschal Carmody, 65, not guilty on all nine charges of obtaining €16,554 from the families of 15-year-old Conor O'Sullivan from Wexford and 57-year-old Kilkenny man John Sheridan in 2001 and 2002.

Judge Fullam said the evidence established that there was no intent to deceive or defraud on the part of Mr Carmody.

He said it had been a very difficult case involving a lot of sadness for a lot of people and that the evidence on some counts was so weak that it would be a mistake to allow it to go to the jury.

The judge made his ruling following an application in the absence of the jury by counsel for Mr Carmody, Tom Creed SC, to dismiss the charges at the end of the prosecution evidence.

In his formal ruling, Judge Fullam said: "I am not satisfied that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt all the essential elements of the offences alleged of false pretences and deception.

"I am satisfied, based particularly on the evidence of Mr Colin Hopper that there is no evidence about an intent to defraud or deceive on the part of Dr Carmody," he added.

The UK-based expert witness on behalf of the prosecution, Mr Hopper, told the trial that Mr Carmody struck him as "a caring physician who was interested in doing good for his patients".

Mr Hopper also stated that Mr Carmody "believed overall he was doing patients good", and in the efficacy of the cancer treatments provided at his clinic in Killaloe.

Mr Hopper went to Mr Carmody's East Clinic in Killaloe in 2003 to examine, on behalf of the authorities, the Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) treatments offered to cancer patients there.

In the case, Mr Carmody denied ever telling Conor O'Sullivan and Mr Sheridan that he would cure their cancer.

Both underwent Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) treatment at Mr Carmody's East Clinic.

Conor O'Sullivan had a rare bone cancer, Ewings Sarcoma, while Mr Sheridan suffered from liver cancer. Both died in November 2002.

Outside court, Mr Carmody said that Judge Fullam had made "the proper decision based on the evidence".

Judge Fullam excused the jury from jury duty for five years.