Business Irish

Sunday 18 March 2018

Brian O'Donnell tosses keys of 'Gorse Hill' at Bank of Ireland boss

Nicola Anderson, Gavin McLoughlin and Sam Griffin

Brian O' Donnell physically tossed the keys of Gorse Hill at bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher at the institution's AGM today.

They were on a specially printed jetting saying: "The Bloody Keys."

The controversial solicitor and his son, Blake took seats in the front row of the meeting at UCD's O'Reilly Hall, which was attended by roughly 350 shareholders.

In his opening address, Bank Chairman Archie Kane said: "We should never forget the help we got from the Irish taxpayers."

Brian and Mary Pat O'Donnell depart their Gorse Hill mansion. (Photo: David Conachy)
A van leaves solicitor Brian O'Donnell's home ahead of tomorrow's deadline to move out of his Gorse Hill property in Killiney.
Blaise O'Donnell, daughter of solicitor Brian O'Donnell, leaving her home with two dogs packed into her car ahead of tomorrow's deadline to move out of his Gorse Hill property in Killiney.

On arrival, Mr O'Donnell told reporters that he was disappointed by the Supreme Court decision yesterday not to allow them to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal. He said he understood that this was because of "new rules."

Mr O'Donnell said that they had been to court 82 times and had lost 82 times. "Statistically that's impossible," he said.

He added that they would be taking their case to Europe and hoped to be back at Gorse Hill "someday."

Asked what he would be saying at the AGM, Mr O'Donnell said he would be raising concerns at how the bank is run and the profits it had declared.

Bank of Ireland's board of directors faced hostile questioning from Mr O'Donnell's son Blake at the agm.

Mr O'Donnell said earlier statements from the management about its treatment of people with distressed mortgages was "waffle".

The O'Donnell couple left their Gorse Hill mansion today as the long-running court saga draws to a close.

This morning at 6am a removals van was seen driving into the Gorse Hill property and the gates closed behind it.

It left the property at 8.40am and John Martin from the New Land League told that Brian O'Donnell was still in the house but planned to leave before the noon deadline.

Mary Pat O'Donnell was driven from the house at 9.05am by a friend in a mini cooper.

Shortly after 9.30am Jerry Beades of the Land League arrived in a UK registered Jaguar followed by a woman driving a white 2013 registered BMW.

He also said that Brian O'Donnell wished to attend todays Bank of Ireland AGM in UCD at 11am.

Then at 9.37am Brian O'Donnell was driven away by Jerry Beades.

Wearing a suit and tie, and with sunglasses covering his eyes, he did not interact with or comment to the media.

The Supreme Court ruled against a last-ditch attempt by former solicitor Brian O'Donnell to prevent a bank-appointed receiver taking possession of the home at noon today.

Last night, Mr O'Donnell appeared at the gates of the home on the Vico Road in Killiney in south Dublin shortly after 8pm, dressed in a brown sweater and cords as he closed the gates on the mansion.

Read more: O'Donnell juggling his eviction and bankruptcy

Asked by the Irish Independent if he intended to leave the house that he and wife Mary Patricia O'Donnell have fought tooth and nail to keep control of, he replied: "No interviews, no interviews."

However, black bags and boxes could be seen inside the home, suggesting the family were packing to finally leave.

A white van, with Jerry Beades Concrete written on the side, arrived shortly before 9pm as the family packed their bags inside. A few minutes later a 4x4 came out of the house full of suitcases.

Earlier the couple's daughter Blaise had been seen driving in and out of the property.

At 9.30 she left in her car which was packed with suitcases and two dogs.

The 'Jerry Beades Concrete' van left shortly afterwards.

A spokesperson for the New Land League, who have been working with the O'Donnells, also said he understood the O'Donnells would be vacating the property ahead of the midday deadline.

"As far as I know they will be leaving the house. They intend to comply with the order," said Jerry Beades from the League.

He said he understood the family had sought more time to remove possessions, but this request had been rejected by the bank. He also said the family intend to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights "in the coming days".

Earlier yesterday, in a three-judge Supreme Court determination, an application by the O'Donnells for a stay on the High Court injunction granted last March requiring them to leave was refused.

Read more: Brian and Mary Pat O'Donnell depart Gorse Hill mansion

They had argued the appeal centred on issues of public importance which should be determined in the public interest.

The bank argued the case raised no novel legal issues or principles and leave to appeal should be refused.

In a 10-page determination, the court ruled the O'Donnells had not raised issues of general public importance and said the Court of Appeal had applied well-established principles in its decision refusing to overturn the High Court injunction.

The O'Donnells had not shown a Supreme Court appeal was necessary in the interests of justice, and had not made out a legal point concerning the High Court judge's refusal to recuse himself from hearing the matter, it added, rejecting all other issues raised.

The ruling also said there was no basis for a reference of issues to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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