Tuesday 16 January 2018

Brian O'Donnell and his wife can stay in Killiney mansion until next Thursday

Brian O’Donnell at the Court of Appeal, Friday 13-03-2015
Brian O’Donnell at the Court of Appeal, Friday 13-03-2015

Solicitor Brian O'Donnell and his wife can remain in their palatial hilltop mansion in Killiney until next Thursday.

The three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal has granted a stay allowing the O'Donnells to remain at Gorse Hill for six more days.

He must present his case against a trespass injunction next Thursday at 2pm in the Court of Appeal.

READ MORE: Brian O'Donnell is warned of jail if he does not leave house by 5pm deadline

Mr O'Donnell and his wife had appealed a High Court order to vacate Gorse Hill this evening.

The Court of Appeal sat this morning to hear Mr O’Donnell’s application for a continuation of the stay.

He was seeking to extend the time he and his wife have to vacate the property, so they could appeal the trespass order obtained by Bank of Ireland and a receiver.

Counsel for Bank of Ireland, and the receiver appointed to Gorse Hill, were also present in Court 22 at the Criminal Court of Justice this morning.

Cian Ferriter, SC for the bank, told the court Mr O'Donnell and his wife are "not the owners of the property."

Addressing Jerry Beades of the New Land League, Mr Justice Sean Ryan said "lets keep some order here", after Mr Beades interrupted Cian Ferriter, SC for the bank.

Mr Ferriter told the court that the couple "orchestrated a blockade."

However, Brian O'Donnell insisted he and his wife have had "right of residence" at Gorse Hill since 2000.

He told the court they are seeking a stay which is "reasonable in the circumstances."

After considering Mr O’Donnell’s application, President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Seán Ryan said his notice of appeal had to be lodged "by close of business today."Mr Justice Ryan, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, said the matter was "urgent."

He told Mr O'Donnell that he must "present his case" on Thursday.

Accompanied in court by John Martin and Jerry Beades of the self-styled New Land League, Mr O’Donnell, told President of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Seán Ryan he was seeking a stay which was "reasonable in the circumstances."

Cian Ferriter, SC for the bank, demanded that the couple “deliver up” the keys, alarm codes, and other “security and access devices” to the receiver, Tom Kavanagh.

He said Mr Kavanagh is “anxious” to seize control of the house “as soon as is reasonably possible.”

He is also anxious to ensure that this is done in a “calm and dignified manner”, he added.

He proposed that the receiver “liaise” with Mr O’Donnell yesterday, to arrange a suitable time for the couple to “vacate the premises”.

“Mr Kavanagh is now legally entitled to take possession, and it’s a question of arranging logistics, from the perspective of having entitlement of possession, to facilitate Mr and Mrs O’Donnell," he said.

Mr Ferriter said he was anxious to avoid a situation whereby discussions are played out “in public.”

He proposed that talks should take place in the “next couple of minutes, or half an hour.”

Mr O’Donnell then rose to his feet, and requested a stay of six months on the order, which was refused.

He said he wanted to clarify with Mr Ferriter whether he was seeking “some sort of barring order from anyone being invited into Gorse Hill.”

“I’m not sure what he has in mind,” he added.

He then turned to Mr Ferriter and asked: “Does that include relatives and friends who come visit?”

Mr Justice McGovern interjected, saying: “You have no entitlement to reside there – it’s not your residence.”

“You are a trespasser on the property,” he added.

Addressing Mr O’Donnell, Mr Justice McGovern reminded him he does “not own the property”.

“The defendants reside in the United Kingdom...their centre of main interest is in the United Kingdom,” he said.

“The status quo is that these matters have been ruled upon.”

He accused Mr O’Donnell of inviting “third parties” who are “wholly unconnected with the matters in dispute” onto the premises.

“The purpose of these third parties being present was to prevent the receiver from entering on the premises to take possession,” he added.

Mr Justice McGovern also accused Mr O’Donnell of using members of the self-styled New Land League to “frustrate” the bank from seizing control of property.

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