A man who sent former minister for justice Alan Shatter a litany of anti-Semitic emails has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

Dublin District Court heard Mr Shatter was upset and did not know what would happen next after he got persistent emails with abusive, anti-Semitic terminology.

The sender, John Dillon, a 55-year old council worker, with an address at Whitethorn Gardens, Palmerstown, Dublin, was suffering from depression and "went over the edge" after a long-term relationship ended, and he began to act "quite manic", Judge Anthony Halpin heard.

Dillon pleaded guilty earlier at Dublin District Court to harassment of Mr Shatter from February until 8 April 2014.

His case had been adjourned until today when a probation report was furnished.  

The judge ordered Dillon to carry out 100 hours of community service work in lieu of a six-month jail sentence.

Earlier, Detective Ciaran O'Neill told Judge Halpin that in April 2014 the Garda Special Detective Unit "commenced an investigation into a number of abusive and anti-Semitic emails to the then minister of justice".

Dillon sent ten emails over a five-week period to Mr Shatter's email address when he was still a senior minister.

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Judge Halpin read out extracts from them saying that because of the upset they caused to the former minister "the public should be given a flavour of these emails".

An email sent on 13 March contained the phrase: "perfidious Jew".

Dillon also called Mr Shatter a "Yiddish whore".

Dillon told investigating gardaí that he was exercising his right to free speech and cited the Constitution and European law.

The council worker told investigators it was a "political matter" but Det Garda O'Neill told the judge: "I think his position has changed since."