A 50-year-old former solicitor has been jailed for three and a half years at Monaghan Circuit Court after stealing €850,000 from various client accounts over a period from 2006 to 2013.

Paul Madden, a father of three, who had a legal practice in Clones pleaded guilty to 16 charges under the Criminal Justice Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

The charges all related to offences alleged to have taken place at the premises of Paul Madden & Co, Fitzpatrick Square, Clones.

Madden, who was called by defence counsel to give evidence before sentencing, said he was remorseful for what he had done and was deeply regretful for the shame and disgrace he had brought on himself and his family, and the impact it had on the legal profession.

He was sentenced by Judge Martin Nolan on two of the charges and was sentenced to three and a half years on each charge, with the sentences to run concurrently.

The remainder of the charges were taken into account by the judge for sentencing.

Madden was struck off the role of solicitors in the High Court in June 2015 and some compensation has been paid to his clients from the compensation fund operated by the Law Society.