Friday 15 December 2017

Embattled solicitor O'Donnell is distorting the truth, court told

Brian O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia
Brian O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia

EMBATTLED solicitor Brian O'Donnell gave "quite an inappropriate distortion of the true facts" concerning his High Court case, it has been claimed.

Cian Ferriter SC, for Bank of Ireland, said there was "no credible, valid basis" in Mr O'Donnell's affidavit that the judge who heard the case, Mr Justice Brian McGovern, should have recused himself due to his wife's financial dealings with Bank of Ireland.

Mr O'Donnell is appealing a High Court order requiring him and his wife, Dr Mary Patricia O'Donnell, to leave their home at Gorse Hill in Killiney, Co Dublin.


At the Court of Appeal yesterday, Mr O'Donnell, representing himself and his wife, said he had been granted a "right of residence" in 2000 through Vico Ltd to remain at the palatial house.

"We have the issue of refusal by Mr Justice McGovern to recuse himself over what we believe are very unusual circumstances," Mr O'Donnell said.

"We believe he should have recused himself from the case."

The former billionaire claimed that Bank of Ireland had waited "until the 11th hour" to issue an eviction notice, and that it had "failed to show any explanation" for this urgency.

He also claimed that "we are occupying and maintaining (Gorse Hill) for everyone's best interests".

Dr O'Donnell did not immediately appear in court alongside her husband, and Ms Justice Finlay Geoghegan asked her to attend to confirm that she also wished to appeal the ruling.

Arriving shortly after 4pm from the family home on Vico Road, Dr O'Donnell said "yes, I do" when asked by Ms Justice Geoghegan whether she wished to proceed.

Dr O'Donnell added that she understood that there would be consequences should the appeal fail.

During his submission, Mr O'Donnell said that "there is an impression given that we have not paid back the bank, but we have paid back over €700m in four-and-a-half years".

He alleged that Bank of Ireland had "set fire to our businesses worldwide", including in the UK, Luxembourg and France, and that this was "another chapter" of the bank using its "brute force, where they have no entitlement".

At the start of yesterday's hearing at 2pm, Mr O'Donnell was denied a request for an adjournment, after he claimed he had not received the respondent's submission until minutes earlier, at 1.55pm.

However, Mr Ferriter claimed he had sent the submission to Mr O'Donnell at 10.06am.

Ms Justice Geoghegan said it was "unfortunate" that Mr O'Donnell did not receive it on time, but that the case needed to proceed. The case resumes today at 2pm.


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