Fine Gael Senator John McGahon expressed his relief last Friday after he was found not guilty of a charge of assault at Dundalk Circuit Court.
The 31 year old had pleaded not guilty to assaulting Breen White causing him harm outside the Rumhouse pub on Park Street almost four years ago.
The court were told that the case arose from an incident on June 16th 2018 when Mr McGahon put his arm around Mr White’s wife as she and her husband were leaving the Rumhouse pub. A scuffle ensued with Mr Breen claiming that he had been left bleeding at the side of the footpath after being knocked to the ground where he was kicked and punched.
Mr McGahon claimed he had acted only in self defence on the night in question.
CCTV footage from the night was shown to the jury.
After hearing four days worth of evidence from both sides the jury of four men and seven women (one juror was taken ill on Tuesday night) failed to reach a unanimous verdict after two and a half hours of deliberations. Judge Dara Hayes then told them he would accept a majority verdict and following a further four hours of deliberations a not guilt verdict was returned.
After the verdict was returned Senator McGahon expressed his relief while thanking the jury for their ‘careful attention’ throughout the trial.
“I’m extremely relieved and delighted to have been found not guilty.
“I maintained my innocence throughout this process, and this has been proven.
“I thank the jury for reaching this verdict having heard all evidence since Tuesday. I would like to thank them for their careful attention throughout.
“I also want to thank my legal team of Hugh Hartnett SC, James McCullough BL with Conor MacGuill solicitors.
“Since 2014, I have worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Dundalk and Louth. There are a lot of issues which affect my constituents and that is my sole focus.”