Francis O'Brien

For other people named Francis O'Brien, see Francis O'Brien (disambiguation).
Francis O'Brien
In office
October 1989  April 2011
Constituency Agricultural Panel
Personal details
Born (1943-04-07) 7 April 1943
Ballybay, County Monaghan,
Nationality Irish
Political party Fianna Fáil
Spouse(s) Gertrude Smith
Children 4

Francis "Francie" O'Brien (born 7 April 1943) is a former Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He was a Senator from 1989 to 2011, elected by the Agricultural Panel.[1]

O'Brien is a native of Latton, near Ballybay, in County Monaghan. He was a member of Monaghan County Council from 1979 until 2003, serving as Council chairman in 1986 to 1987.[2]

On 25 April 2010, the Irish Mail on Sunday ran a lead story saying that O'Brien had borrowed €10 million from Irish Nationwide Building Society, under the headline "FF Senator got €10m loans from Fingleton". The article claimed that the loans were fast-tracked by Michael Fingleton "without demonstrable security or documentation".[3]

On 14 June 2010, the Irish Independent reported that in 2006, O'Brien spent millions of euro on agricultural land outside the village of Inniskeen, County Monaghan in the hope that it would be rezoned for housing. However, the Inniskeen Action Committee opposed the development and, despite several Fianna Fáil councillors voting for the rezoning, the motion was defeated by Fine Gael and Sinn Féin councillors. The land is now worth a fraction of the purchase price.[4]

O'Brien did not contest the 2011 Seanad election. In November 2013, he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment and a further year suspended, after pleading guilty with two other men to a charge of demanding €100,000 with menaces from Michael Heelan at Carrickmacross on 27 April 2012.[5][6][7]


  1. "Mr. Francis O'Brien". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  2. "Francis O'Brien". Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  3. "FF Senator got €10m loans from Fingleton". The Mail on Sunday. 25 April 2010.
  4. Brennan, Michael (14 June 2010). "FF senator left millions out of pocket as land plans rejected". Irish Independent. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  5. "Ex-FF senator Francis O'Brien charged with demanding €100,000 with menaces". RTÉ News. 24 April 2013.
  6. "Former senator Francie O'Brien pleads guilty to charge of extortion". RTÉ News. 11 October 2013.
  7. "Former senator Francie O'Brien (70) jailed for two years". Irish Independent. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
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