Donegal solicitor struck off for dishonesty and professional misconduct

February 18, 2019

A Co Donegal solicitor who admitted dishonesty and professional misconduct has been struck off the roll of solicitors by the president of the High Court.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly was told it is “very uncertain” at this stage whether the Law Society’s compensation fund will have to reimburse clients of Moya O’Donnell’s practice.

If all claims are paid out, there could be a deficit of some €450,000 but the picture is “very uncertain” and claims are still being processed, Nessa Bird BL, for the Society said. A number of claims had been refused, she noted.

Sean Sexton, a solicitor representing Ms O’Donnell, said monies from the estate of her late husband David Madden, who died in tragic circumstances just before Christmas 2017, will become available to go towards meeting at least some of any deficit established.

Because of the tragic circumstances of his death, there are issues concerning life policies, Mr Sexton added.

Mr Justice Kelly said, given the dishonesty involved, the Society and Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) had no choice but to seek a strike off order and the court had to make that order.

He reduced the legal costs by some €7,000 after noting, arising from her husband’s death, Ms O’Donnell is a lone parent of four children with no means of livelihood as a solicitor.

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