The Law Society will apply on Friday for court orders freezing the personal accounts of suspended Ballaghadereen solicitor Declan O’Callaghan as well as the accounts of a Co Roscommon practice he previously operated.
The society is concerned that the client account deficit linked to the Kilraine O’Callaghan practice at Pound Street, Ballaghadereen may now exceed €730,000.
It believes there is a “clear and present danger” to clients and the public if the practice continues to operate with such a deficit, according to the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly.
He said the situation had become “even more serious” and he would permit the society to serve short notice of its application, returnable to Friday, for the account freezing and other orders, including to deliver up the books, files and accounts of the practice.
He said the Law Society considered the orders necessary to protect clients of the firm, the public and the integrity of the solicitors’ profession.
The firm had been trading with this growing deficit for the past five months and the society considered it could not allow this situation continue.
Nessa Bird, representing the Law Society, said the case had been due before the court on December 19th but this application arose from concerns that a deficit on the client account may be some €730,000 and not the €500,000 previously anticipated.
Mr O’Callaghan previously paid some €400,000 to address concerns in relation to two estates, including of a child whose father died in an accident, the court was told.
Ms Bird said some €609,000 would need to be lodged now to clear the deficit, plus a sum of €144,000 which Mr O’Callaghan had previously agreed to lodge but was yet to.