Roscommon solicitor row: FF meeting to discuss concerns

Party sources expect Mary Devine O’Callaghan to resign from her local positions

Declan O’Callaghan  agreed  to a number of orders before the High Court. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

Declan O’Callaghan agreed to a number of orders before the High Court. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

 

The controversy over a Co Roscommon solicitor is expected to feature at a Fianna Fáil constituency meeting to be held this week.

Declan O’Callaghan agreed last month to a number of orders before the High Court, including not to practice as a solicitor, pending the outcome of an inquiry by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Mr O’Callaghan will also pay €350,000 from his personal funds by September 10th to the client account of the firm where he was a partner, Kilrane O’Callaghan Solicitors, Pound Street, Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, and will cease his involvement with that firm.

His wife, Mary Devine O’Callaghan, was his office manager. As part of the same High Court order, Mary Devine O’Callaghan has been removed as the firm’s cheque signer.

The Law Society of Ireland had initiated an application for suspension of Mr O’Callaghan arising from concerns raised in an independent solicitor’s report, including his having withdrawn substantial fees from the estate of a bereaved child.

Party roles

Ms Devine O’Callaghan was, until recently, one of Fianna Fáil’s two honorary national treasurers, but has left that position. However, she was also director of organisation for the Roscommon-Galway constituency, which party sources said takes in responsibility for general elections and local elections. She has also been a member of the Fianna Fáil Ard Chomhairle, its national executive.

Senior party sources said she has now also “stepped back” from her local positions, although it is not believed this is common knowledge in her constituency.

The annual general meeting of the Fianna Fáil organisation in Roscommon-Galway takes place at the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon on Thursday night, and local party sources had expected Ms Devine O’Callaghan’s to resign from her local positions because of the controversy.

“People expect her to stand aside,” one source said.

When contacted, Ms Devine O’Callaghan said: “I have no comment to make.”