Sunday 26 March 2017

O'Donnells ask court to refuse bank injunction in Gorse Hill case

Brian O'Donnell
Brian O'Donnell

Tim Healy

The High Court has been asked to prevent retired solicitor Brian O'Donnell defending a bank's bid to prevent him trespassing on his former family home at Gorse Hill, Killiney, Co Dublin.

Chris Lehane, the official administering the bankruptcy of Mr O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia, wants an injunction restraining Mr O'Donnell advancing further defences to Bank of Ireland's case.

The bank wants to sell Gorse Hill, valued at more than €5m, as part of its efforts to execute a €70m judgment granted against Brian O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia in December 2011.

That judgment was obtained under a March 2011 settlement agreement which also provided, if the settlement broke down, as it later did, the O'Donnells would yield vacant possession of Gorse Hill.

Yesterday Edward Farrelly BL, for Mr Lehane, said any defence to the bank's case must be authorised by his client as trustee of the O'Donnells' estate.

Mr Lehane considered the defences being advanced by Mr O'Donnell were without merit and would not authorise their litigation, counsel said.

The O'Donnells' defence is really about claiming an interest in Gorse Hill which gives a right to possession when the courts had already decided they had no such interest, he said.

The defence also relies on the €70m judgment and settlement agreement of 2011 being set aside, but the points raised about those had been litigated "numerous" times, he added.

Stephen Dowling, for the bank, supported the injunction application and said the bank should not be "further" vexed by more litigation.

Mr O'Donnell urged Ms Justice Caroline Costello to refuse the injunction. He wants to defend the bank's claim on a number of grounds, including alleged fraud. The judge said she will give her ruling on a later date.

Irish Independent

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