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Banking experts to testify in court for O'Donnells

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Brian O Donnell leaving Four Courts with two of his children, Blake (centre) and Blaise (left). Photo: Courts Collins

Brian O Donnell leaving Four Courts with two of his children, Blake (centre) and Blaise (left). Photo: Courts Collins

Collins

Brian O Donnell leaving Four Courts with two of his children, Blake (centre) and Blaise (left). Photo: Courts Collins

SOLICITOR Brian O'Donnell says he will bring in expert witnesses on banking regulation as part of the latest challenge by him and his wife Mary Patricia to their bankruptcy, the High Court has heard.

They are seeking to annul their bankruptcy which was confirmed in February by the Supreme Court.

Yesterday, Mr O'Donnell sought additional time to respond to a sworn statement provided to court by Bank of Ireland in which it says the challenge should be dismissed on the basis that the matter has been fully dealt with in the High and Supreme Courts.

The bank says the O'Donnell case is unstateable and should not be entertained.

Ms Justice Caroline Costello adjourned the matter for two weeks for mention on March 23 to allow the O'Donnells to deal with the bank's latest affidavit but said she would keep open a March 26 date which she had earmarked for the hearing of the annulment application.

She would not dismiss the case because the bank had filed an affidavit replying to the O'Donnell claims only last Friday.

Mr O'Donnell had made "very serious accusations and aspersions" against the bank and she believed the bank had needed time to deal with them.

Mr O'Donnell had complained the bank had 93 days to file the 20-page affidavit which was before the court yesterday but he had only received it last Friday.

Mark Sanfey SC, for the bank, said the delay was due to Bank of Ireland not wanting to cut across other proceedings involving the O'Donnells in the Commercial Court.

Mr O'Donnell said he needed more time than two weeks in circumstances where the bank had a team of 20 lawyers working for it while he only had himself and his son Blake, who is also a solicitor, to deal with the annulment application.

Mr Sanfey said Mr O'Donnell was making an allegation of fraud against almost everyone, including bankers and lawyers, in the hope it will "get him round" the fact that he had accepted the 2011 settlement of his €71.5m debt with the bank.

Ms Justice Costello said said she was adjourning all matters to March 23 for mention.

These include an application by the court-appointed official handling the O'Donnell bankruptcy, Official Assignee Chris Lehane, for leave to cross-examine the O'Donnell children.

Blake O'Donnell said he and his siblings, Alexandra, Blaise, and Bruce, would be applying for rescission and damages proceedings in relation to a search warrant obtained by the official assignee for the former family home, Gorse Hill, Killiney, Co Dublin.

Earlier yesterday, at a separate hearing in the Commercial Court, Mr Justice Brian McGovern also adjourned separate outstanding matters relating to Gorse Hill, including €180,000 for lost rental income which the receiver says he is due from the O'Donnell children while they were in occupation of the house.

Mr Justice McGovern also said he will give his decision some day this week in relation to last week's hearing over trespass proceedings against the O'Donnell parents.

He adjourned the question of inquiry into damages for lost rent for two weeks along with two other related matters.

Irish Independent