Why hasn't on-the-run Lynn been arrested yet, asks judge
HE has been on the run for two long years -- and a judge has asked if anything has been done to get Michael Lynn back home.
In his absence, the fugitive solicitor has been forced to surrender four of the properties in his extensive portfolio after Anglo Irish Bank was granted an order for the repossession in court yesterday.
Lynn fled the country following allegations of an €80m mortgage fraud. He did not engage with the bank as it sought to recover loans given to him and an associate in 2007.
His continuing absence prompted Justice Brian McGovern to ask: "Have any steps been taken to have Mr Lynn charged so that an international arrest warrant can be obtained?"
The solicitor and property magnate had secured a loan from Anglo Irish Bank in February 2007 for €671,000 along with an associate, allowing him to purchase four apartments at The Green, Thornberry in Letterkenny.
By January 2008, the debt had soared to €685,569. Lynn's associate had consented to an order for possession, but solicitors acting for the bank had been unable to contact Lynn.
They relied on newspaper reports for information and eventually discovered that the former solicitor may have been living in Tavira in the Algarve. A letter informing him of yesterday's court date was sent to that address, but there was no reply.
Judge McGovern remarked: "I find it very difficult to believe that if Mr Lynn had been a citizen of our neighbouring jurisdiction that he wouldn't have been made amenable to the courts by now."
He granted an order for possession against Lynn only, allowing the bank to take immediate possession of the properties.
It was the most high-profile case on a day when there were 11 orders for possession, a marked increase on recent weeks.
For one family in Galway, yesterday marked the end of a battle to retain the family home as Anglo Irish Bank was granted an order for possession of a residential property and several acres of land.
The defendants did not attend court but were represented by a barrister who gave details of their circumstances.
Compounding their financial worries, the family has been hit by serious health problems, with the second-named defendant having serious surgery.
There are two grown-up children still living in the family home in an exclusive area of Galway, and both are still considered dependents.
The original loan advanced was €1,088,000. Yet, the defendants fell into arrears and failed to make any payment since January 2007. As is the situation with many of the cases coming before the courts, the amount now owed exceeded the original loan, as the defendants are in debt to the tune of €1.4m.
Judge McGovern granted an order for possession on both the house and the 13.5 acres outside the city. However, a stay of six months has been granted, giving the family time to make alternative arrangements.
There was also another sign of the collapse of the rural pub trade, with a pub in county Laois passing into the hands of ACC Bank. Yet again, it was a tale of hopelessness, with mounting debts and a stagnant property market keeping the co-owners mired in difficulty.
The co-owner of this pub, a well-dressed man, turned up in court to politely inform the judge of his desperate situation. "The position is that the pub has been closed for a year," he explained. "We couldn't sell it, we fell into arrears with ACC."
He and his business partner attempted to put an end to the catastrophe by selling the pub, but there have been no takers.
"We're in no position to sell it," he pointed out. "We thought by now there'd be some sale with the pub. We brought the price down completely but there's been no interest."
Judge McGovern remarked: "It does look fairly hopeless, I'm afraid." He granted an order for the possession of the property with a stay of one month.
Among yesterday's orders was the renewal of an execution order for the possession of land in Carlow.
The order had initially been made in respect of lands in Carlow in 2004 but had lapsed after the sheriff was unable to take possession because of the presence of livestock.
Judge McGovern decided to renew the execution order for a 12-month period.