Dearbhail McDonald: The sorry parable of Ireland's incredible Celtic Tiger madness
There are many people who could qualify for the lead role in the Parable of the Celtic Tiger – I wrote an entire book full of contenders. But in years to come, the movie grade tale of the rise and fall of former solicitor Thomas Byrne will surely cast one of the most illuminating lights on the boom-to-bust cycle that engulfed Ireland.
I first heard Thomas Byrne's name on Saturday, October 13, 2007 – the morning that the Irish Independent broke a story about an as-yet-unnamed solicitor who specialised in property law and who had engaged in an alleged €30m mortgage fraud involving four banks.
I got a call about a solicitor in trouble and Byrne's name was mentioned. The caller was wrong about the name: the story was in fact about another notorious solicitor.