The former Cavan Real Estate premises (left) and Tony Breathnach (right).

Former Cavan estate agent remanded in custody

The theft charges relate to dates between December 2015 and March 2017.

A former Cavan Estate Agent was charged with the theft of almost €143,000 of clients' money following his arrest in Dublin Airport.

Anthony Breathnach, also known as Tony, appeared before Virginia District Court, sitting in Cavan, charged with 23 counts of theft.

Detective Garda Linda Harkin told the Court she arrested Mr Breathnach at 9.50am that morning in Dublin Airport, before taking him to Cavan Garda Station.

The 53 year old, of no fixed abode, made no reply when charged.

Appearing before Judge Raymond Finnegan, Sergeant Damien Galligan said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had indicated the case should be dealt with “on indictment”, meaning it must be heard in the Circuit Court.

Written guilty pleas from the accused were handed in to the court in relation to nine of the charges.

The alleged offences range in date from December 1, 2015 to March 23, 2017 and for amounts from €847.50 to €25,000. Charges relating to a total of €142,751.95 were before the court.

No bail application was made by solicitor Fergal Boyle, acting on behalf of Mr Breathnach. He was remanded in custody to appear before Cavan Circuit Court on February 15.

Tony Breathnach operated his business under the name ‘Cavan Real Estate’. Originally from Galway he moved to Cavan in 2001.

He started working in the property sector in 2005 with a local firm and in 2008, he established his own business as a Sherry Fitzgerald franchisee, before becoming an independent operator in 2014.

Gardaí had confirmed in 2018 that they had received a number of complaints following the winding up of Cavan Real Estate. They had confirmed an investigation was underway into the alleged offences against Mr Breathnach under the Theft and Fraud Act 2001.

The Anglo-Celt was also contacted by a number of individuals, concerned following the payment of deposits to him.

It’s understood Mr Breathnach moved to Scotland following the closure of Cavan Real Estate.

In 2019, he was banned by the High Court from in future seeking a licence to provide property services in Ireland.

The order, under the 2011 Property Services (Regulation) Act, was sought by representatives of the Property Services Regulatory Authority.