Former solicitor facing €2.8m fraud charges

A former solicitor has been charged with seven counts of fraud amounting to €2.8m.

Ruairi O Ceallaigh has appeared before Dublin District Court where he stood accused of taking the money from a client account within his family’s law firm.

O Ceallaigh (aged 42) of Collegeland, Summerhill in Co Meath, was arrested by appointment this morning in the city.

Detective Sergeant Paschal Walsh told the court the accused made no reply when charged at the Bridewell Garda Station.

O Ceallaigh was charged with dishonestly appropriating sums of cash – which ranged from 75,000 up to €1.5m – on seven dates between July 18, 2006 and October 22, 2009.

The money was being held for seven clients in a company account.

He was partner in Sean O Ceallaigh & Co Solicitors in Phibsboro, north Dublin.

Dressed in a dark suit, shirt and tie, the accused did not speak during the short hearing.

Judge Patricia McNamara granted bail on condition he lodge his own bond of €200.

His elderly father Sean O Ceallaigh, from Castleknock, took the stand and agreed to lodge an independent surety of €5,000.

There is no allegation against any other member of the O Ceallaigh family.

The case was adjourned until January 6, when the book of evidence is expected to be served.

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