Byrne fails in bid to have injunction on reducing assets lifted

A HIGH COURT judge has refused an application by solicitor Thomas Byrne to lift an injunction granted to IIB Bank last month that restrains Mr Byrne reducing his assets or accounts below €9 million.

Lawyers for Mr Byrne applied yesterday to Mr Justice Peter Kelly, sitting in the Commercial Court, to have the injunction lifted because, it was argued, incorrect material had been put before the court in affidavits on behalf of the bank made by two persons concerning the issue of ownership of a property at Ballsbridge Terrace in Dublin.

The bank had a duty to find out the precise details of ownership of that property and had not done so, counsel argued.

However, Michael Cush SC, for IIB, said there was no basis for Mr Byrne’s application. When the bank sought the injunction from Mr Justice Frank Clarke, it had put before the court all the information in its possession, he said.

Refusing Mr Byrne’s application, Mr Justice Kelly said Mr Byrne had argued that the information from the bank did not stand up.

The judge said he rejected that argument and believed there was sufficient information to warrant the granting of the injunction. Had he been the judge at the time, he also would have granted the order, he said.

The information before Mr Justice Clarke included the “very suspicious” way in which Mr Byrne had dealt with requests from the bank, the judge said.

Meanwhile, the Law Society is continuing its investigation into Mr Byrne’s practice, Thomas A Byrne & Company, at Walkinstown Road, Dublin. It has secured separate orders freezing his accounts and closing his practice.

Files seized by the society from Mr Byrne have also been given to the Criminal Assets Bureau and the Garda National Bureau of Fraud Investigations.

Mr Byrne is alleged to have engaged in multiple mortgage fraud and has been ordered by the High Court to repay more than €40m to various banks.

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