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Struck-off solicitor charged with theft of over €2m

STRUCK-OFF solicitor Thomas Byrne was charged yesterday with stealing more than €2m from clients in connection with the purchase of an apartment building.

Fraud squad officers detained the ex-solicitor at Irishtown garda station in south Dublin on Thursday.

Mr Byrne (45), of Walkinstown Road, Dublin 12, but who also has an address at Aungier Street, in Dublin 2, was held in garda custody overnight.

He was brought before Dublin District Court yesterday evening to face two counts under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

Mr Byrne, who formerly had a solicitor's practice in Walkinstown, in Dublin, was granted legal aid. He kept his head down and remained silent during the brief proceedings.

His first charge alleges that on a date unknown but subsequent to May 2, 2006, he "did dishonestly appropriate the sum of €1,887,415", which had been entrusted to him by Brian Whelan, Brian Maher and Enda Mulryan for the purpose of discharging a loan with Permanent TSB.

The second count alleges he took €198,742 given to him for the purpose of paying stamp duty in the purchase of 75 Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1.

There was no indication of how he intends to plead.

Mr Byrne was remanded on bail to appear again on a date in February.

Irish Independent