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Lynn brought solicitors into ‘professional disrepute’
Dublin's Criminal Courts of Justice Pic; RollingNews.ie

19 Feb 2024 / courts Print

Lynn brought solicitors into ‘professional disrepute’

Sentencing ex-solicitor Michael Lynn for theft today (19 February), Judge Martin Nolan accepted that he was a person who had many good points, saying he had no doubt that he was “energetic”, “very intelligent” and “accomplished”.

He said that he believed that Lynn was capable of reform and of contributing to this country and society “in due course”.

But he said that the amount of money stolen was serious, and that Lynn had brought solicitors into “professional disrepute”.

“Mr Lynn acted in total disregard in relation to his obligations as a solicitor to be honest and straightforward, and he disregarded the interests of the people he was working with,” Judge Nolan said.

He noted that Lynn's account of having prior agreements with the banks in relation to the loan monies was disbelieved by the jury.

The judge backdated the five-and-a-half-year sentence to 20 December last, when Lynn went into custody.

After the sentence was handed down, the court heard that an application would be made for the confiscation of assets pertaining to Lynn, in the form of “real properties and bank accounts”.

This matter was set down for mention on 16 April.

Plea of mitigation

In his plea of mitigation to the court, Paul Comiskey O'Keeffe BL, defending, said that Lynn had suffered mental trauma because of his prolonged period in a Brazilian prison.

Several medical reports that were handed into court outlined how Lynn suffered from PTSD because of his incarceration in “deplorable” conditions, and stated that he had witnessed a decapitation and daily violence.

His current imprisonment has had a triggering effect on his mental health, the court heard.


A medical report found that Lynn developed a skin carcinoma because of being exposed to direct sunlight in prison, and was now more susceptible to a similar type of cancer, as well as more malignant forms, counsel said.

The court heard that Lynn had chronic asthma and suffered 11 bouts of pneumonia in a five-year period.

His experience in Brazil “will affect his overall life expectancy”, Comiskey O'Keeffe said.

Defence counsel handed in several testimonials – including from Lynn’s wife, Brid Murphy – outlining the effect Lynn's incarceration had had on his family and his children. The court heard that an acquaintance of Lynn – an English businessman – had agreed to give Lynn a job.

Lynn has no previous convictions.

Prosecution's case

Outlining the prosecution case against Lynn, Karl Finnegan SC said that the total amount stolen by Lynn amounted to €18,144,385. He outlined how Lynn took out multiple bank loans for the same properties – including three loans to fund his multi-million home, Glenlion, in the space of 15 days.

The court heard that the two trials had spanned a combined total of 89 days and that Lynn spent 1,645 days in prison in Brazil and a further 105 days in custody in Ireland upon his extradition and before he was granted bail.

'Stroke of a pen'

The prosecution asserted that Lynn could have ended his Brazilian incarceration “with a stroke of a pen”, a submission that was disputed by his defence, who said that it would have taken several months.

Comiskey O'Keeffe also asserted that, while the total sum stolen by Lynn amounted to €18 million, the total loss to the banks was unknown, with some registering the first legal charge in the loan and others having insurance policies.

Judge Nolan ruled that the total loss to the banks was probably in the region of €13 million.

Isabel Hayes
Isabel Hayes
Isabel Hayes is a court reporter with CCC Nuacht Teoranta