High Court hears how houses due to be taken over by CAB were wrecked

File photo.

The Criminal Assets Bureau is to ask the High Court to order a sister of gangster Liam Byrne to promise a house she is due to hand over shortly to CAB will be intact.

It follows separate incidents of vandalism last Sunday to two houses which belonged to Byrne and his associate Sean McGovern hours before they were also due to be handed over.

The houses, one at Grange View, Clondalkin, owned by Byrne, and at Kildare Road, Crumlin, owned by McGovern, were broken into and substantial damage caused to them, Grainne O'Neill BL, for CAB, told the court today.

As a result, CAB has been given liberty by the court to re-enter the cases it brought against Byrne and his associates which led to orders that the houses be forfeit to State because they, and other assets, were acquired from the proceeds of crime.

Ms O'Neill said CAB also wanted to seek undertakings that no fixtures and fittings will be removed from a property at Raleigh Square, also in Crumlin, which has also been found to be acquired through crime, before it is handed over next June. The court last month gave a stay of four months on an order the house be vacated.

CAB wants Maria Byrne, the registered owner and sister of Liam Byrne, to give the undertakings before it is vacated. Some €750,000 was spent on fitting it with luxury improvements, all paid for by Liam Byrne, who also paid rent for it to his sister, the court heard previously.

Ms O'Neill said the houses in Crumlin and Clondalkin were due to be handed over to CAB at midnight last Sunday.

When an officer attended the Clondalkin house he found substantial damage was done to it, counsel said. Local gardaí had received a call that day that two males were observed kicking in the door.

Extensive damage was done including smashed windows, fixtures and fittings removed or smashed along with flooding caused by the removal of water pipes and sanitary ware, counsel said.

In Crumlin, a garda on patrol on Sunday saw two men driving away in a van from the house in Kildare Road. Officers found all fixtures and fittings there had been removed.

The court heard garda investigations into the crimes are ongoing and both properties have been boarded up.

Ms O'Neill said as well as seeking liberty to re-enter proceedings against Liam Byrne and Sean McGovern, CAB wanted to bring an application against Ms Byrne seeking the undertakings about Raleigh Square before the keys of that property are handed over. Directions on how a receiver is to proceed with the sale of the properties are also to be sought

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart granted liberty to bring applications in relation to all matters and adjourned the case to next month.

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