The wife of former solicitor Michael Lynn has told his trial for theft that she did not know whether her husband was alive or dead for five days after his arrest in Brazil in 2013.

Brid Murphy said they had never tried to evade the authorities in Portugal or in Brazil.

She said they did not have money "squirrelled away" anywhere and lived off social welfare and the support of their families.

Ms Murphy was giving evidence in defence of her husband who has pleaded not guilty to 21 charges of stealing a total of almost €30 million from financial institutions.

The prosecution alleges he took out multiple mortgages on the same properties without the knowledge of the financial institutions.

The court heard Ms Murphy, a former nurse, has been married to Michael Lynn for 16 years.

She told the court they had a fleeting romance in 2000 but when they met again in 2004, Mr Lynn proposed within three months and they married in April 2006.

Ms Murphy, who is from Co Clare, trained as a nurse in Limerick and worked as an intensive care nurse in St Vincent’s in Dublin from 2000.

She became manager of the high dependency area but took a career break in 2007 to look after her seriously ill father.

She said she and her husband lived in Sandymount, near the hospital and they never lived in Glenlion House in Howth.

The court has heard the Howth house was bought in 2007 for €5.5m.

The prosecution alleges Mr Lynn bought it as a family home but took out three mortgages on it to a total of more than €11m.

Mr Lynn claims the banks allowed him to take out mortgages in Ireland to fund property development abroad.

He alleges he had arrangements with senior bankers to this effect and they were fully aware of all his borrowings and what he was doing with the money.

Ms Murphy told the court she signed a mortgage document for ACC Bank on the kitchen table, after a 13-hour shift but never went to any bank and was not involved in any of her husband’s business.

She said Mr Lynn had his job and she had hers.

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She told her husband's defence counsel, Feargal Kavanagh, that she had been brought to the High Court by ACC Bank and by Bank of Scotland Ireland.

She said ACC got its money repaid and the Bank of Scotland case was settled out of court.

Ms Murphy said she had first travelled to Brazil in 2005 to accompany her husband on a business trip.

They travelled again in 2007. On both occasions, they were looking at property.

She said Mr Lynn had gone there multiple times without her.

In 2008, she said he was in Portugal and she was flying over and back while also trying to mind her father.

Ms Murphy said they also had other reasons for travelling to Brazil and had gone there again in October 2010, after having difficulties conceiving a child.

She said she was diagnosed with cervical cancer when she was 26 and after meeting Mr Lynn, they had tried for five years to have a child to no avail.

In 2010, after her father had died, she said they were advised in Portugal to visit a particular doctor in Sao Paolo in Brazil and in October 2010 she became pregnant.

They flew over and back between Portugal and Brazil and finally returned to Sao Paolo in June 2011, before having their first child in August that year.

She said Sao Paolo was a very big city and they had heard there might be opportunities in Recife in the north as it was a new up and coming area and the property market was rising.

Ms Murphy said they moved up there when their son was seven months old.

Her husband had investors in Hungary who were interested in exploring the Brazilian market and he also taught English to Brazilians.

She said during this time they had never attempted to evade police or go on the run.

They travelled on their own passports and had to notify the local police they had moved from Sao Paolo, she said.

If they flew in and out of Europe, she said they were told they were on a watch list and had to hand in the address of the hotel they were staying in each time.

Ms Murphy said the day her husband was arrested was one day she would not forget.

She was seven months' pregnant with her second child and had been very ill during the pregnancy.

Mr Lynn received a call from an office and had to go out and he came back an hour later with five unarmed undercover police.

He told her he was being taken into custody and wanted to say goodbye to their son.

Later, she was brought by friends to the local police station.

She said the police stood Mr Lynn in front of her, took off his top and told her to look and to see that he had not been beaten while in their custody.

She broke down as she told the court they then took him out in a car and for five days she did not know if he was alive or dead.

Ms Murphy said the prison in Recife was run by prisoners and the guards did not enter it because they were too afraid.

She had to get a mattress into the prison for her husband to sleep on and half of the food she brought in had to be given to the prisoners who ran the place.

She agreed she was allowed conjugal visits which she said were there to keep the peace.

"There is light and darkness," she said, as they had "two beautiful children" while Mr Lynn was in prison.

Ms Murphy said when her husband was very ill with pneumonia, she had asked for consular support to try to get him to hospital but she was told Dublin could not help.

She said she organised a nebuliser and antibiotics to get him through.

Mr Lynn was extradited back to Ireland in 2018.

In response to the suggestion that he could have surrendered at any stage, Ms Murphy said Brazil only had 13 supreme court judges and everything was very slow.

She said she applied for their passports in 2014 or 2015 as at that stage she said they were getting ready to come home.

Ms Murphy said they did not have any money "squirrelled away" anywhere.

She said they lived on social welfare and were fortunate to have their families supporting them.

She said they had "four beautiful children".

She told the court her mother and sister had died from cancer at the age of 42 as their family had a genetic predisposition to cancer.

She told the court she herself had her ovaries removed and was on a waiting list for a bilateral mastectomy.

The court also heard via video link from Hungarian lawyer and property developer Dr Krisztián Zoltán who gave evidence that in 2007, Mr Lynn's property company Kendar, had been involved in a €33 million development in Budapest.

He said he had introduced the project to Mr Lynn who was interested in buying it and selling it on to Irish investors.

He said an agreement was in place but didn't go through because of the problems with Kendar.

He said Mr Lynn worked around the clock when he visited Budapest. It was meeting after meeting and it was always about business.

He told the court when the scandal broke out in October 2007, it was chaos in Budapest as well as in Ireland. Employees and contractors got nervous he said and the agreement with Mr Lynn did not go through.

Before that, Kendar was working in a normal way as a normal property development company.

Mr Lynn's defence has now finished and the case will resume tomorrow.