A district court judge has agreed to set aside a judgment against former Fianna Fáil TD Noel O'Flynn pending the hearing of a civil action early next year.
Barrister Jay Gokul told Cork District Court that his client was shocked, surprised and in a state of disbelief when he read newspaper reports that he was being summoned to court for non-payment of a debt to a local newspaper for political pamphlets.
Mr Gokul said his client was unaware of any efforts made by the owners of the Glanmire Community News, Mick Young and John McGuinness, to recover the alleged debt of €1,271.12.
He said Mr O'Flynn was in Mexico when a registered letter was sent to him by solicitors acting on behalf of the plaintiffs.
The barrister said that all correspondence was sent to Mr O'Flynn's former constituency office and not to his home or his workplace.
Mr Gokul applied to the court to have the judgment, which was handed down against Mr O'Flynn last March, set aside and a date set for a full hearing of the claim for monies owed.
He said his client does not deny that work was done, but he does deny that he owes the plaintiffs money.
Solicitor Michael O'Dowd said his client, Mr Young, would happily give evidence of the efforts he made to get Mr O'Flynn to pay this "minor" debt.
He said that the constituency office address was the one always used in dealings between the two parties.
Judge Con O'Leary said he would set aside the judgment and list the case for mention on 7 January if €400 to cover expenses was lodged with the court, in addition to the €1271.12 already lodged by Mr O'Flynn with the Clerk of the Court.
Mr O'Flynn agreed to do so by 21 December.