Solicitor struck off over false signatures
A SOLICITOR who signed documents using a colleague's signature has been struck off for professional misconduct.
Patrick J Munnelly was found guilty by a disciplinary tribunal of wrongfully signing the signature of his former partner, Martin Egan, on documents related to three properties in Athlone in which he had an interest or owned.
In doing so, he undertook that AIB would gain first legal charge over the properties on which loans were taken out.
Mr Munnelly resigned from Fair and Murtagh solicitors, Northgate Street, Athlone, Co Westmeath, in May 2009.
He claimed he should have informed Mr Egan of what he did but that this was an oversight and not any deliberate attempt to mislead the bank or to conceal the undertakings from other partners in the firm.
He did not accept the bank had relied solely on his undertakings and argued it had been given several other items of security, which would have covered the borrowings.
A disciplinary tribunal had recommended Mr Munnelly be allowed to continue practising with a limited certificate, but the Law Society recommended a striking off.
Mr Justice Kearns said he had no option but to strike him off.