Monday 25 September 2017

Gorse Hill's Brian O'Donnell: Bank of Ireland set fire to my business

Brian O’Donnell leaves Gorse Hill for the last time
Brian O’Donnell leaves Gorse Hill for the last time
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Solicitor Brian O'Donnell has said Bank of Ireland "set fire" to his business.

Mr O'Donnell, a prolific property investor, told Pat Kenny on Newstalk this morning that on Christmas Eve 2010 he received 18 solicitors' letters demanding he repay around €60m owed to Bank of Ireland within 24 hours.

He said he thought his portfolio gave him a sufficient cash flow to meet interest repayments, adding that he had done a deal with a major US insurance company that would have paid all his debt to Bank of Ireland, but that this had been rejected.

Mr O'Donnell said that at the height of the boom his property portfolio was worth around €1bn. He said he would "love" to get back to a normal life but that the bank won't let him because it is pursuing him through the courts.

He says Gorse Hill, the Killiney mansion that he and his wife were ordered to vacate, is owned by a trust - of whom his children are the beneficial owners - that has no borrowings with Bank of Ireland.

A Bank of Ireland spokeswoman said the bank does not comment on individual or legal cases.

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