Tom Brady: 'How criminal Liam Byrne's property portfolio jewel was finally handed over to CAB'
Maria Byrne was a vital cog in the network of extended family members and associates who were used by her brother, Liam, to launder the vast profits gleaned from his drug trafficking activities.
From the south city neighbourhood of Crumlin, Liam Byrne was the leader of the Dublin branch of the international crime cartel, run by the Kinahans, until he also was forced to follow his bosses and move overseas.
The jewel in his property portfolio was his home in the modest Dublin Corporation estate of Raleigh Square in the area where he was reared.
Its outward appearance gave little indication of the huge sums that Byrne had lavished on a massive refurbishment project that he undertook behind the front door.
An architect estimated that the total cost of the renovations amounted to almost €750,000.
Liam Byrne is now living in a gated mansion in Birmingham. His Raleigh Square home was bought by his sister, Maria, who had purchased a number of properties in the area.
In the High Court on Wednesday she consented to her brother's pride and joy being handed over to the Criminal Assets Bureau along with €27,000 in cash.
Around the same time, coincidentally, Maria Byrne also reached a settlement in a separate High Court damages action in which a cyclist claimed he had suffered severe injuries to his foot after he was struck by a Nissan Qashqai driven by her at Meath Street in Dublin in May 2011.
A rare insight into the luxury lifestyles of top criminals and their associates was revealed in a case brought by the Criminal Assets Bureau before the High Court last August.
Among the eleven people named in the CAB affidavit were Liam Byrne, his partner, Simoan McEnroe, his cousin, Liam Roe, close associate Sean McGovern, parents James and Sadie Byrne and his sister, Maria.
Ms Justice Carmel Stewart in August approved the CAB confiscation of 31 vehicles, 8 pieces of jewellery, 4 sums of cash and two houses and found that the evidence clearly established that Liam Byrne and Sean McGovern had "engaged in criminal activities" for the purpose of laundering the proceeds of crime, transferring wealth between the members of various organised crime groups, providing a fleet of high end luxury cars to members of the Byrne group and hiding the beneficial ownership of the vehicles seized.
Liam Byrne was named as the leader of the Byrne "organised crime group" and he was described as a career criminal heavily involved in drug trafficking and firearms in Ireland, with close connections to the Kinihans and using a number of businesses as a cover for the laundering of funds.
Evidence was also given of movements of cash between Maria Byrne's bank account and one held by her brother, Liam, including a lodgment of almost €50,000.
It also emerged that she was making €2,000 withdrawals from her account on the same date each month that her brother was making €2,000 lodgments on his mortgage.