Tuesday 26 September 2017

Tribunal finds €500k debt lawyer guilty of misconduct

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

THE Law Society is to apply to the High Court to have a well-known solicitor struck-off.

Greg O'Neill, who practised in Dublin city centre, was found guilty by the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal on a number of charges of professional misconduct.

Mr O'Neill is a well-known public figure who had represented the families of the Stardust fire victims and the Dublin and Monaghan bombings victims.

The finding of professional misconduct related to a sum of just over €35,000 owed to five former clients.

In one of the instances, the Law Society intervened and ordered Mr O'Neill to pay a sum of money to a client, but he failed to do so.

In another instance, he had been ordered to refund client fees, but had not done so. He also failed to respond to the society or to file accounts on his practice for a number of years.

The three-man tribunal heard Mr O'Neill suffers from severe depression and has debts of around €500,000.

A consultant psychologist described his behaviour as "dysfunctional".

He had not worked since March 2011 when his practice, operating under the name Gregory F O'Neill at the Capel Building, collapsed.

CONTRIBUTION

His barrister, Cormac O Dulachain, described the extensive contribution he had made to the profession, and said he had not benefited financially from much of his public law work.

The tribunal acknowledged the good public service work Mr O'Neill had undertaken, but it found him unfit to be a solicitor on the grounds of professional misconduct.

Irish Independent

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