May 12, 2014
Cleared: Cllr Frank McBrearty

Cleared: Cllr Frank McBrearty

INDEPENDENT Councillor Frank McBrearty has been cleared of allegations that he assaulted a senior member of Fianna Fail.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has told the former Mayor he has no case to answer – after Cllr Seamus O Domhnaill claimed he had been attacked.

The Fianna Fail man had made a statement to Gardaí, prompting a six month investigation – after he claimed Cllr McBrearty has threatened and assaulted him at a county council meeting in Lifford last October.

Cllr McBrearty had vehemently denied the claim, and he was backed by Fine Gael councillor Barry O’Neill who said the alleged incident “didn’t happen.”

The alleged incident was the subject of much on-air debate, which Cllr McBrearty’s lawyers are now studying.

Gardai interviewed 29 councillors and senior staff members at the council as part of the investigation.

In a statement tonight Cllr McBrearty said: “After months of trivial, pointless, and redundant questioning, not to mention the unnecessary garda manpower which this whole non-event involved I have been told by the DPP that I will not be prosecuted.

“The unnecessary anxiety and strain which these allegations have placed upon my family and myself, only served as an unwelcome reminder of the cruelties and injustices which we as a family have faced in the past.”

“In addition to Cllr Ó Domhnaill’s initial declaration, I later learnt that in his statement to Gardaí, he made the accusation that I had also threatened to kill both himself and another Councillor – namely Cllr Barry O’Neill of Ballyshannon.

“I categorically reject all of Cllr Ó Domhnaill’s accusations made against me.

“In fact, this entire debacle has already strived to cause me, as well as my standing, considerable harm.”

Cllr O’Neill said: “The whole thing was bizarre and that’s an understatement. I was named in Cllr O Domhnaill’s statement – which was read to me by Gardaí – as having also been threatened by Cllr McBrearty, but I was never assaulted or threatened that day by Cllr McBrearty or anyone else.”