FORMER defence minister Willie O’Dea will not be prosecuted over a sworn affidavit he made which led to his dismissal from the Government.
Following a garda investigation, the DPP has decided that no action should be taken against Mr O’Dea.
The Limerick East deputy said the DPP has decided that no criminal prosecution arising from the affidavit should be proceeded with.
The affidavit was made following a story in the Limerick Leader in which the then minister made allegations that Sinn Féin Limerick City Councillor Maurice Quinlivan was involved in the running of a brothel.
Mr O’Dea made the brothel claim in an interview with Limerick Leader journalist Mike Dwane.
The interview was given at a Fianna Fáil function before the last local elections.
The ensuing controversy provoked angry scenes in the Dáil as the opposition tabled a motion of no confidence in Mr O’Dea.
Despite bitter exchanges in the Dáil, Mr O’Dea won the confidence vote, but within hours major cracks appeared in the Government coalition when Green chairman and senator Dan Boyle bluntly declared he had no confidence in the defence minister and called on him to quit.
The Greens withdrew their support for the minister the following day after a tape of his conversation with the journalist was made public.
The row brought the coalition to crisis point and Mr O’Dea was forced to resign from cabinet.
Mr O’Dea said at the time he was resigning because he had come to “the regrettable conclusion that my continuing in office will only serve to distract from the important and vital work of Government.”
During the controversy, Green Party member Gary Fitzgerald made a formal complaint to the gardaí which led to an investigation into alleged perjury by Mr O’Dea.
Mr O’Dea confirmed his legal advisers had been informed the DPP had decided no further action would be taken.
He said: “A member of the Green Party made a complaint entirely without foundation that my affidavit constituted perjury because it [the affidavit] was intentionally incorrect. I got the news this afternoon and it proves I am not a person who swears an affidavit knowing it is incorrect.
“I have been through a very difficult time and this is very good news. The gardaí carried out their investigation very professionally and very thoroughly. I thought it was a waste of garda time, but it was very thorough and now I am glad it is all over,” he said.
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