Rumour mill lifts off whenever helicopter is spotted
EVERY now and again a helicopter is spotted in the skies above north-west Mayo.
The sight fuels the old rumour that Michael Lynn, the on-the-run solicitor and Crossmolina's most infamous son, was home to see his elderly mother.
It seems that no one in the area has actually seen the infamous solicitor-turned-developer but everyone has heard the tale.
"I've heard it too, but it's nonsense," says one local shopkeeper.
But the main reason locals were sure he hasn't been back is that Crossmolina is one of the places where he would be least welcome.
Despite leaving Mayo at a relatively young age to set up a legal and property business in Dublin, Mr Lynn wasn't shy about returning home to entice locals to invest in his projects.
A number of people close to Mr Lynn, locals "with a bit of money", and laid-off workers with redundancy cash all piled in with Mr Lynn's Kendar group.
His widowed mother, Angela, who is in her 80s, is the head of a "very well respected family" of farmers who are the "salt of the earth".
She still lives in the old farmhouse where Mr Lynn, the youngest of seven children, was raised on the banks of Lough Conn.
His brother Hugh is principal of a primary school on the outskirts of nearby Ballina. He and Michael -- eight years his junior -- were "close" before the solicitor absconded and are still in touch.
Those close to Michael Lynn say that while he has seen his family in recent years, he has not returned to Ireland since fleeing in December 2007 .
It is understood his two sisters, Ann and Theresa, live in Dublin.
The links between his wife Brid Murphy and her hometown of Tulla, Co Clare, are even weaker.
She has two brothers and two sisters, but they no longer live in the area.
Her father Teddy died in 2009 -- 24 years after his wife Anna, who was just 42 when she died in 1984. Brid came back to Ireland for her father's funeral.