A former Fine Gael TD for Cavan-Monaghan has been convicted in connection with an assault at his family-owned pub last year.
Sean Conlan resigned from Fine Gael prior to this year’s general election after expressing public criticism of the party leader, Enda Kenny, over his failure to engage with landowners in a campaign to prevent pylons and overhead cables on their farms in a cross-border electricity link-up proposed by EirGrid.
Conlan stood as an independent in the election, but failed to retain his seat.
The charges related to an incident in a pub in Ballybay, Co Monaghan on 23 August 2015.
Conlan, of Main Street, Ballybay, Co Monaghan, was charged over the use of a broken pint glass during the affray, and also with unlawfully assaulting and causing harm to Enda Duffy of Annahia, Ballybay.
After the closure of the case for the prosecution, counsel for Mr Conlan, Mr Patrick Gageby SC, told Judge Conal Gibbons it was not proposed to call any evidence on behalf of the accused, who was pleading 'not guilty'.
Judge Gibbons then said he was convicting Conlan on both charges.
He accepted however the case arose from circumstances in which alcohol was a factor involving both parties in the pub.
Judge Gibbons remanded Conlan on continuing bail to a further sitting on 9 January next when a date will be set for a sentencing hearing.
The case opened with an application by Mr Gageby requiring all witnesses to remain outside the courtroom while the evidence of each witness was being heard. Judge Gibbons granted the request.
Garda Niall Brady showed Monaghan District Court three books of photographs taken in the bar where the assault took place, as well as pictures of an arm injury which Mr Duffy claimed he sustained when struck by Conlan with the broken glass.
Mr Duffy told the court that he went to Conlan's pub, where his brother and some other friends were drinking, after visiting a GAA social centre and another pub in Ballybay that day.
He said there was some discussion in the bar with references made about the arts minister, Heather Humphreys, another Fine Gael TD based in Cavan-Monaghan.
After a short time Conlan repeatedly asked him his name, but he refused to give it, Mr Duffy said.
Mr Duffy added that Conlan then put his face against him, touching the witness' nose twice.
He claimed Conlan then smashed a pint glass on the counter and struck him with the broken glass on the arm.
He said he was later treated by as doctor for the wound.
He also told the court he received no other injury, although he agreed in cross-examination that he had claimed, in an earlier statement to gardaí, that he suffered concussion. He admitted he had "made a mistake" in using that term.
The manager of the bar, Peadar McNally, said he managed to get Conlan out of the premises after the incident, while others were held back, and Mr Duffy was stripped to the waist and in an aggressive mood at the time.