Business Irish

Sunday 17 December 2017

Garda file on disgraced solicitor sent to DPP

STRUCK OFF: Thomas Byrne. Photo: Courtpix
STRUCK OFF: Thomas Byrne. Photo: Courtpix


Gardai have sent the file on its investigation into disgraced solicitor Thomas Byrne to the DPP, according to a well-placed legal source.

However, the Sunday Independent understands the file on rogue solicitor Michael Lynn has not yet been sent to the public prosecutor.

The garda investigations into both solicitors kicked off in late 2007.

Both solicitors were struck off by the High Court in summer 2008 after running up bank debts of tens of millions of euro and defrauding clients of millions of euro. Neither of the solicitors has yet been charged by gardai.

A spokesman for the garda press office said last week that it could not comment on the progress of the investigations -- but that they were ongoing.

Before Christmas, the then Fine Gael justice spokesman, Alan Shatter, demanded that Justice Minister at the time Dermot Ahern say whether the investigations into Byrne and Lynn had been completed -- and, if so, when the files had been sent to the DPP.

"These individuals were first reported to the gardai by the Law Society more than three years ago," Mr Shatter said before Christmas.

"It is inexplicable that to date no known criminal prosecutions have been initiated. It is time that the Minister for Justice explained exactly what is going on."

The Sunday Independent contacted Mr Shatter -- now the Minister for Justice -- last week to clarify whether or not files on Byrne or Lynn had been sent to the DPP. He promised he would make a comment on the issue next week.

Byrne's practice in Walkinstown was shut down by the Law Society in late 2007. Byrne donated €6,000 to the Labour Party at the height of the boom, according to the party's disclosure to the Standards in Public Office Commission in 2006. The Labour Party later wrote to the Sipo Commission asking what it should do with the donation.

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