A Fine Gael Senator has told a court how he feared for his family's safety after receiving a string of text messages threatening him, his wife and their children.
In a victim impact statement, Senator Micheál Carrigy, from Ballinalee, Co Longford, said a direct threat was made to his children in one text message, while another was made against his home.
Mr Carrigy made the statement at Longford District Court at the sentencing hearing of David Larkin, Ardnacassa Lawns, Co Longford.
Larkin pleaded guilty last year to harassment of the politician on various dates between 20 December, 2021 and 14 February, 2022.
Sergeant Paul Carney of Granard Garda Station told the court that text messages and Facebook posts were sent to Mr Carrigy, along with one voicemail left on his phone.
In one of texts sent to Senator Carrigy, Larkin said: "Happy Christmas Micheál, hope you enjoy it to the full because next year you will be in a jail cell awaiting sentencing for crimes against humanity along with all the others."
In another text message, there was a reference to a line from TV series Yellowstone in which Senator Carrigy was told "you going to the train station bro, no mercy".
Another message read to the court heard how Senator Carrigy was told his time was "soon up".
It read: "All you scumbag politicians scrambling for the door, now that Boris has s*** himself and caved into the people before he's f***** out of office and publicly hanged for his crimes.
"That's what you have to look forward bro. You're going down just like the rest of the scum. Don't think you'll escape Micheal, your time is soon up, enjoy it."
In another message, Mr Larkin threatened the senator's home, saying: "The mothers, the fathers, they ain't gonna wait for no international court case.
"They're just gonna ram your front door and tear all you politicians apart in your house. That's what you have to look forward to. Could be next week, could be next year but it's coming my friend and no amount of security will save ya then. Happy s*** yourself Sunday."
A voicemail left on Mr Carrigy's phone and linked to Mr Larkin heard how the senator's children were threatened. The message was left on Mr Carrigy's phone on 14 February 2022.
"We the people will bring you to justice. It's going to be slow and it's going to be brutal. Your children will be sterilised and there will be no legacy left from you. You're a f****** scumbag and you know it," the voicemail said.
In his victim impact statement, Mr Carrigy said he is very proud of where he comes from and that his children will grow up in his home county.
"At very least, they should be able to group up safely without having to deal with threats to their lives," he told the court.
"Both my wife and I are hard-working citizens of the State who pay our taxes. We are entitled to live our lives without having been threatened, but most importantly we should not have the burden of having to worry about our children when they are in their own home, their school or at other activities.
"A direct threat was made against my children. This cannot be accepted in our society. A direct threat was made against my home. This cannot be accepted in our society."
Senator Carrigy said the harassment made him question his career in politics.
He said: "Serious incidents like these make you question your position. Is it worth it? Is it my role and profile that is putting my family at risk? Constantly checking that the house doors are locked. Checking if any damage is done to our car.
"Will my involvement in public life have any effect on my children as they get older? A lot of sleepless nights during the period until this individual was arrested."
Senator Carrigy said a line had been crossed and he felt compelled to take as stand.
"I have a lot of issues to deal with for my constituents that I could be working on today, rather than taking up court time and garda resources, but because this individual felt it was okay to make threats to me, my family, and my family home, I felt it was important to make a stand," he said.
"I know not everyone agrees with my political views, but I have always engaged with everyone in a civil manner and feel I should get the same in return.
"We need good people in public life who can concentrate on their jobs in the knowledge that their home and their family are safe from harm's way."
The court heard Larkin understands and accepts he was wrong and has moved on from the dark place he was in at the time of the messages.
Defending solicitor Frank Gearty told the court that Larkin has cooperated with the investigation, has not reoffended, has publicly apologised to Senator Carrigy and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
Judge Bernadette Owens adjourned sentencing until May pending the outcome of Larkin's engagement with the probation services.