Monday 11 December 2017

Judge in Brian O'Donnell case demands to know what is happening at palatial mansion

The family's home
The family's home
The O'Donnell siblings Blake, Alexandra and Blaise
Brian O’Donnell and his wife Patricia O’Donnell have debts of more than €70m
Brian O'Donnell

a HIGH Court judge wants evidence as to what has been happening at a house in Killiney after he was told solicitor Brian O'Donnell has barricaded himself inside to prevent a bank-appointed receiver taking it over.

The house, Gorse Hill, at Vico Road, was recently vacated by three of the children of Brian and Mary Patricia O'Donnell in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling dismissing a challenge to repossession on foot of a €71.5m judgment obtained against the parents by Bank of Ireland.

The judgment related to liabilities to the bank over which there were a number of securities including the house.


Mr Justice Brian McGovern said he wants affidavit evidence today from receiver Tom Kavanagh outlining what has been happening there since noon yesterday when the receiver was due to take possession.

The court heard that members of an anti-repossession group called the Land League had reportedly joined Mr O'Donnell to oppose any attempt to take over the house.

The claims came during an application for an injunction by Mr O'Donnell's son, Blake, who is also a solicitor, seeking to stop the eviction. He told the court that he and his three siblings - Blaise, Alexandra and Bruce - along with a company called Vico Ltd sought the injunction claiming High Court and Supreme Court decisions in favour of the bank had been obtained on the basis of lies by the bank.

Mr O'Donnell said his parents were in occupation of the house by virtue of a right of residency granted to them previously by him and his siblings.

Earlier, Cian Ferriter SC, for the bank, said Mr O'Donnell junior was engaging in a gross abuse of process with complete disregard for the integrity of the court system.

Although Brian and Mary Patricia O'Donnell had been insisting up until last January that they lived in Kent in England, they were now saying they were living in Gorse Hill and were entitled to two years' notice from their children before they can be evicted, counsel said.

Around the same time, the children had written to the receiver saying they had vacated the property, Mr Ferriter said.

The judge said that it was all "a bit like Lanigan's ball".

Rossa Fanning BL, for the receiver, said if the court refuses an injunction his client may seek attachment and committal orders against certain members of the O'Donnell family unless there are undertakings not to interfere with the receiver.


Mr Justice McGovern said he may not give a decision on the injunction application today, but he first wanted evidence as to what had been taking place at the house.

One of the plaintiffs, Bank of Ireland Private Banking (BOIPB), had unlawfully presented itself to the court as being a bank when it was in fact a mortgage intermediary, Blake O'Donnell said.

BOIPB, throughout its relationship with the O'Donnells, had indicated the monies were loaned by BOIPB and not as had been claimed throughout the case by the "governor and company of Bank of Ireland".


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