herald

Sunday 22 July 2018

From courtrooms to the coffee bar... almighty fall of disgraced Byrne

THIS is how disgraced solicitor Thomas Byrne is now attempting to make an honest living.

The former legal eagle's fall from grace has resulted in him stirring coffees instead of addressing courtrooms.

Byrne is now serving frothy lattes at a busy cafe in Dublin's inner city.

Customers of the Foam Cafe on Great Strand Street have expressed shock at seeing the ex-lawyer behind the coffee counter.

He was once a high-flier on the legal circuit, drove a Bentley and mixed with some of society's big names.

But the Herald observed Byrne spend most of his break time slumped in a corner, seemingly trying to hide a massive shiner beneath his right eye.

He spent most of the day in the cafe's kitchen, but did take some time to chat to a female friend in the corner of the main eating area.

Byrne may become one of the first "rogue solicitors" to face prosecution by the State.

Along with disgraced solicitor Michael Lynn, Byrne was struck off the solicitors' roll in 2008 after it emerged he took out multiple mortgages on properties.







Miserable

He owes an estimated €40m to the banks and was found to have used his clients' funds to support his lavish lifestyle.

In 2008, he was forced to sell off his prized Bentley -- it fetched less than half of its original €250,000 price tag.

The father-of-three has recently shaved his head and was this week sporting a black eye.

A customer of the cafe told the Herald: "We couldn't believe it when we looked across from us and there was Byrne eating a salad. He had a big black eye and looked very thin and pretty miserable. He slumped off to the kitchens and only appeared now and then."

Byrne is one of a group of solicitors under investigation for alleged mortgage fraud. No criminal charges have yet been brought against him.

The Herald contacted the manager of Foam Cafe ,who said Byrne was unavailable for comment. "I can only take him at face value. He does work here but he's left for a meeting. His past is his own business and I'm not going to comment on it."

hnews@herald.ie

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