Friday 30 September 2016

Brian O'Donnell and wife Mary Pat to pay legal costs of failed bankruptcy bid - High Court

Tim Healy

Published 14/05/2015 | 16:59

Brian O'Donnell and his wife Mary Pat
Brian O'Donnell and his wife Mary Pat
Brian O'Donnell and his son Blake
Brian O’Donnell leaves Gorse Hill for the last time

RETIRED solicitor Brian O'Donnell and his wife Dr Mary Patricia are personally liable for the legal cost of their failed bid to have their bankruptcy annulled, the High Court ruled.

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It means the costs cannot be drawn from the assets of their bankrupt estate but they themselves will have to bear the bill for their application which Bank of Ireland (BOI) opposed. Mr O'Donnell represented himself and his wife during the annulment application.

Brian and Mary Pat O'Donnell depart their Gorse Hill mansion. (Photo: David Conachy)
Brian and Mary Pat O'Donnell depart their Gorse Hill mansion. (Photo: David Conachy)
Brian O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia O'Donnell
Brian and Mary Pat O'Donnell
Dr Mary Patricia O Donnell
Blaise O'Donnell

Read more here: O'Donnell's 'near-death' drama resulted in Gorse Hill court saga  

Last month,  Ms Justice Caroline Costello found the O'Donnells had not advanced any new evidence as a basis for an annulment of the 2013 bankruptcy obtained against them by BOI which is owed €71.5m.

Far from there being compelling reasons to annul the bankruptcy, "no grounds had been advanced" by the O'Donnells which led her to the conclusion that they ought not have been adjudicated bankrupt, she said.

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

The costs issue and related orders were back before Ms Justice Costello Thursday (May 14) when there was no appearance by or on behalf of the O'Donnells.

The judge said she would have to deal with these matters and after hearing submissions from Mark Sanfey SC, for BOI, that the bankrupt estate should not have to bear the costs of the failed annulment application, she agreed the O'Donnells should be made personally liable.

Read more here: O'Donnell family's last hours in Gorse Hill  

Mr Sanfey said if the costs were to be charged against the bankrupt estate, it "would be a charter for bankrupts to make vexatious applications knowing they would not get costs orders against them".

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