A police raid on the offices of a top Dublin law firm - in which a number of files were taken away as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering - has provoked a row between the Irish Law Society and the Garda.
Law firm ME Hanahoe & Co says it was not given the chance to hand over the files voluntarily. It has also raised concern about the fact that reporters and TV camera crews were witnessed the raid, having apparently been tipped off.
The Law Society has sent a strongly-worded letter of protest to the Garda Commissioner, professing the innocence of Hanahoes and complaining about what it describes as an orchestrated "media circus."
Law Society director-general Ken Murphy said: "It is outrageous that whoever was responsible for the Garda leak seems to have been quite happy to sacrifice the high reputation of a solicitors' firm to that end."
The money laundering investigation is part of a Garda drive against organised crime prompted by the recent murder of investigative journalist Veronica Guerin.