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Monday 5 December 2016

O'Donnells finally quit €7m Gorse Hill mansion as bankrupt solicitor tosses 'bloody keys' to bank chief

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Brian O'Donnell hands over the keys to Gorse Hill to Richie Boucher at the Bank of Ireland AGM
Brian O'Donnell hands over the keys to Gorse Hill to Richie Boucher at the Bank of Ireland AGM
Brian O'Donnell, right, leaving his house Gorse Hill with Jerry Beades, left. Vico road, Killiney, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Brian O'Donnell gives the keys of Grose Hill to Bank of Ireland's Richie Boucher (seated behind standing man)

Bankrupt solicitor Brian O'Donnell tossed the keys of his former mansion Gorse Hill at Bank of Ireland boss Richie Boucher this morning.

They bore a key ring which had been specially printed with: "The Bloody Keys."

Mr O'Donnell and his family have left their Killiney home after a five-year battle with the bank which has pursued them over debts of more than €70m.

However, they have vowed that the fight for the house will continue.

This morning at 9.37am Brian was driven from the sprawling mansion on the Vico Road overlooking Killiney bay by Jerry Beades from the New Land League.

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Brian O'Donnell, right, leaving his house Gorse Hill with Jerry Beades, left. Vico road, Killiney, Dublin

Mr Beades told reporters that a new phase in the battle to keep the property in the O'Donnells' ownership would commence today.

Arriving at Bank of Ireland's AGM at UCD's O'Reilly Hall with son Blake, shortly afterwards Brian O'Donnell told awaiting reporters that he was very disappointed with yesterday's Supreme Court decision to reject a bid by the family to stay in the €7m pad.

Mr O'Donnell said he understood that this was because of what he described as "new rules" adding that it was the first time the court had sat in a closed room.

"We've been in court 82 times and we've lost 82 times - statistically that's impossible," he said.

He said the family would be taking their case to Europe for an appeal. Asked what he would be saying at today's Bank of Ireland AGM, Mr O'Donnell said he would be bringing up concerns at how the bank is run and the profits it had declared.

Asked whether he ever thought he would be back at Gorse Hill, he said he hoped he would one day.

The family were packing their possessions overnight, and the couple's daughter Blaise left in her car which was packed with suitcases and two dogs late last night.

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Brian O'Donnell gives the keys of Grose Hill to Bank of Ireland's Richie Boucher

This morning at 6am a removals van was seen driving into the property and the gates closed behind it.

It left at 8.40am and the New Land League's John Martin told the Herald that Mr O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia were still in the house but planned to leave before the noon deadline set by the courts.

Mary Patricia left Gorse Hill just after 9am, with Brian leaving just over a half an hour later in a UK registered Jaguar driven by Mr Beades.

He returned after dropping Mr O'Donnell to the Bank of Ireland meeting.

Read More: Gorse Hill: Brian O'Donnell tosses keys back at Bank Of Ireland CEO at AGM

"The fight is not over, all these cases have yet to come to full hearing.

"This is only an interlocutory trespass order application and they have vacated the property," Mr Beades said.

"That is going to head on to Europe and the rest of the cases will be heard in the courts," he added.

Yesterday a three-judge Supreme Court determination refused an application by the O'Donnells for a stay on the High Court injunction granted last March requiring them to leave Gorse Hill.

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