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Lynn trial hears evidence on signatures
Pic: RollingNews.ie

16 Nov 2023 / courts Print

Lynn trial hears evidence on signatures

A legal executive at Michael Lynn’s former practice has denied a suggestion from his defence that she was “not telling the truth” when she said that she gave a loan of €80,000 to the former solicitor.

Mr Lynn (55), of Millbrook Court, Redcross, Co Wicklow, is on trial accused of the theft of around €27 million from seven financial institutions. He has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of theft in Dublin between 23 October 2006 and 20 April 2007.

It is the prosecution’s case that Lynn (pictured) obtained multiple mortgages on the same properties, in a situation where banks were unaware that other institutions were also providing finance.

The cross-examination of a former legal executive with Michael Lynn & Co Solicitors, Liz Doyle, continued yesterday (15 November).

'Stuck for money’

Paul Comiskey O'Keeffe showed Doyle an email from January 2007, which stated a profit of €2.9 million from a project in Portugal.

He put it to Doyle that she was “not telling the truth” when she said that she gave €80,000 to his client in January 2007 as “he was stuck for money”.

“That was my understanding,” she replied.

Doyle was brought through a mixture of documents – including statements of affairs, emails and memos. She agreed that she was an authorised signatory on cheques for Michael Lynn & Co Solicitors, alongside solicitor Fiona McAleenan at one stage.

Conveyancing reports

Doyle agreed that she forwarded some emails to McAleenan. She also accepted that the firm compiled weekly conveyancing reports, and that whoever read them would get updates about this aspect of the business.

She agreed with Comiskey O'Keeffe that McAleenan would have received these reports, but told him she couldn't say if they kept McAleenan “abreast” of the position of the conveyancing files.

Referring to her cross-examination on Tuesday, when he put it her that “there was a culture in the firm where people were signing each other's names on documents”, Doyle accepted that the content of one email referred to her “looking for permission” from McAleenan to sign a letter.

She told Comiskey O'Keeffe that she couldn't agree there was “generally a practice that you would sign each other’s signature, as the need arose” in the practice.


She agreed that another email showed that she that had “no difficulty” asking McAleenan if she could sign her name. She said that McAleenan never said ‘no’, but added that she could not recall if McAleenan had ever refused permission for her to sign her name.

“You are more than capable of speaking up or sending an email when you have any concerns?” Comiskey O'Keeffe asked, after showing Doyle correspondence about the practice's process for signing cheques.

“That’s what it says on the email,” Doyle said.

She agreed with Comiskey O'Keeffe that it was her position that McAleenan was made a partner in the firm. She was also shown a proposed organisational chart, dated April 2007, which described McAleenan and Lynn as partners in the firm.

‘Chance’ meeting in Portugal

Doyle told Comiskey O’Keeffe that she was not aware of the difficulties in her own husband’s company until January 2006, or that Lynn had invested in the business.

She said that she met Lynn in Portugal “by chance” during a two-year period when she was living there around 2009.

Comiskey O'Keeffe suggested to Doyle that she was being “untruthful”.

“That's not the case,” she replied.

Text messages

The court had heard on Tuesday that Irish Life and Permanent took a civil case against Doyle and McAleenan. She told defence counsel yesterday that she could not recall the content of text messages between her and McAleenan, which were disclosed as part of the civil case.

Comiskey O'Keeffe noted that McAleenan had alleged in the civil case that Doyle was “part of the fraud”.

Doyle said that “At that time, I was very unwell”, and that she had “no knowledge of anything at that stage”.

“She made allegations against you, and you defended yourself by saying she was aware you were signing her name?” Comiskey O'Keeffe asked.

“Correct,” Doyle replied, adding that her husband dealt with these proceedings in 2008.

Judge Martin Nolan asked Doyle if it was her evidence that she “never disguised the content” of any document she asked McAleenan to sign.

“I did not, no,” Doyle replied.

The trial continues before Judge Nolan and the jury.

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