'Gang busting' Irish solicitor retires from CAB
TRIBUTES have been paid to the gang-busting Irish solicitor who helped set up the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
Gardai, the Irish Bar, the Southern Law Association and victims rights groups paid tribute to Barry Galvin who is retiring as State Solicitor in Cork.
Mr Galvin is best-known for helping draft the legislation that created the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in 1996 following the murder of ‘Sunday Independent’ investigative journalist Veronica Guerin by Dublin crime bosses.
Mr Galvin went on to lead the CAB on an operational and strategic level in its early years as Bureau Legal Officer.
So successful was CAB’s remit and its early operations that it has been adopted as the model for an anti-organised crime agency in more than a dozen countries worldwide.
CAB is credited with having dramatically reduced gangland activity in Ireland for almost a decade.
Since its foundation, CAB has now seized more than €133m in illicit profits from criminal activity.
In 2011/2012, the bureau handed €3.1m to the Exchequer as a result of court proceedings taken under the Proceeds of Crime Act (1996) together with €4m collected in taxes under Revenue legislation.
The CAB is also being used to target social welfare fraud on an organised level.
At one time the threat to senior CAB officials from gangland bosses was deemed to be so great that Mr Galvin had to take firearms training and, for a time, was under round-the-clock armed protection.
The Cork-born solicitor was called to the Irish Bar in 1965.
As a barrister he specialised in corporate, banking, taxation and to a lesser extent criminal defence.
He went on to establish the family firm of Barry C. Galvin & Son Solicitors.
In 1983 he was appointed State Solicitor for Cork and returned to that role having completed his CAB duties.
Mr Galvin’s fame for helping draft such successful anti-organised crime legislation led to him being hired as a consultant by a number of international agencies including the Seychelles Government.
He remains deeply proud of CAB and the role it played in helping Ireland’s fight back against organised crime following the shocking murder of Veronica Guerin.
“After the shooting of Veronica Guerin there was as serious confidence crisis in the justice system and police in Ireland,” he said.
“The Government embarked on a process of taking the money out of crime and drug trafficking and organised crime. It is nabbing the bad guy’s money.”