Law & Order

Mattie McGrath walked out of court yesterday an innocent man.

McGrath and five others, including his son Edmond were found not guilty of assaulting a teenager in south Tipperary two years ago.

The jury returned a majority verdict of not guilty on three charges, including assault causing harm, violent disorder and using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour in a public place

There’s nothing unusual about that. There are trials in courtrooms all over the country every day.

Only in this case, one of the accused is a TD, so a minor court case became a national story.

Afterwards, McGrath went in front of the cameras to describe the trial as ‘groundless, unnecessary and unfair.’

‘Certain people didn’t want my political career to progress,’ he told RTÉ radio.

McGrath said he emailed the minister for justice about the case, seeking an urgent meeting to discuss the case, alleging ‘political interference‘.

McGrath also confirmed he made a complaint to the Garda Complaints Board about the case.

Which strikes me as a bit odd.

An Garda Síochána does not make a decision to prosecute. The police investigate alleged crimes, the DPP decides if a case should be brought.

Time to move on, Mattie.

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.