A man who admitted carrying out an arson attack on the office of a former TD has been given a four-year suspended prison sentence.

John Clarke, with an address at Greenhills Estate in Ballina, Co Mayo, threw a petrol bomb through the window of Michelle Mulherin's office in the town, in early 2015.

The resulting fire caused €23,000 worth of damage to the premises.

The 41-year-old pleaded guilty to the offence last year and was before Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court today for sentencing.

Judge Rory McCabe heard that the defendant had written a letter of apology to the former Fine Gael TD and that, when the offence was committed, he was "floridly psychotic".

The Court was told that Mr Clarke had not intended to carry out a personal attack on Ms Mulherin.

She lost her seat in last year's election and was subsequently nominated to the Seanad by the Taoiseach.

Judge McCabe described the incident as "very disturbing" and "potentially life threatening".

However, he said that having studied extensive medical reports, he was of the view that Clarke was at low risk of re-offending.

He imposed a four-year prison sentence suspended for six years.