Monday 11 December 2017

O’Donnells barricaded in mansion as case may be brought before Europe

John Martin of The Land League chats outside the front door of the property on the Vico Road
John Martin of The Land League chats outside the front door of the property on the Vico Road
Two unidentified men pin a notice to the gate of the home of solicitor, Brian O'Donnell. Photo: Colin Keegan
Brian and Pat O'Donnell

Solicitor Brian O’Donnell remained barricaded into his Killiney mansion today ahead of a 4pm deadline to leave.

Members of the New Land League were expected to arrive at the house on Vico Road this morning to make an announcement to the media and said there would be “interesting developments” in the case.

Sources have told the Herald that the announcement was expected to be a declaration that the case will be put to European courts.

A last-ditch attempt by the O’Donnell children to lodge an injunction to prevent a bank-appointed receiver taking over the house was yesterday rejected by the High Court.

The matter will be back before the courts tomorrow where the O’Donnells are expected to appeal the rejection of the injunction that was sought.

A spokesman for the New Land League, John Martin, today told the Herald they believed there would be no attempt by the receiver to the bank to take possession of the house today.

“There will be nobody vacating the premises voluntarily today either,” he added.

Yesterday at the High Court Mr Justice Brian McGovern said Mr O’Donnell’s occupation of the house – Gorse Hill on Vico Road – was part of a device to frustrate previous court orders granting the receiver                              possession.

The receiver, Tom Kavanagh, had a right to vacant possession on foot of decisions by the High and Supreme Courts and the O’Donnell parents were not entitled to possession, the court heard.

The case was before the court after the O’Donnell children – Blake, Blaise, Bruce and Alexandra – sought an injunction claiming the previous court orders were obtained on the basis of fraud and perjury by Bank of Ireland.

The bank obtained a €71.5m judgment against their parents, Brian and Mary Patricia O’Donnell, over unpaid loans. Part of the security for those loans was Gorse Hill.

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

On Monday, bank-appointed receiver Mr Kavanagh was due to take possession but, the court heard, there were reports that Brian O’Donnell had barricaded himself in and invited support from anti-repossession group, the New Land League.

Cian Ferriter SC, for the bank, provided the court with an update as to what was happening on the ground at Gorse Hill following a request from the judge yesterday.


Counsel said there had been a “disturbing dimension” in relation to the proceedings, with Brian O’Donnell having invited in the self-styled Land League which says it is speaking on behalf of the solicitor as though he was “some unfortunate tenanted cottier who cannot speak for himself and has got them in as some sort of foot soldiers”.

Blake O’Donnell, who is also a solicitor and argued the case for an injunction, told the judge that an affidavit filed by the receiver seemed to have “nothing really of any substance in it”.

Mr Justice McGovern said he had carefully considered matters and there was no bona fide issue to be tried.

Mr Ferriter then asked the judge if Blake O’Donnell would phone his father and ask if he intended to remain in the house.

When the court resumed after a brief adjournment, Mr O’Donnell said his father told him he was “not a party to the proceedings”.


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