Sunday 17 November 2019

Couple fail in bid for more time on bank's court order

Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

SOLICITOR Brian O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia could be jailed for an alleged contempt of court after a High Court judge ruled that an application by Bank of Ireland could go ahead early next month.

The action is over what the bank claims is their failure to comply with an order to provide certain documentation to it.

At the Commercial Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday refused an application by the O'Donnells, who were not present in court, to have the matter adjourned.

The judge was critical of the O'Donnells, who he said had acted "with a sense of entitlement" that the business of the court should be conducted "on their whims".

Mr Justice Kelly also said that an apology over this failure to comply with the courts orders had to be "wrung out" of the O'Donnells' representatives.

The documents are sought by BoI arising out of answers given by Mr O'Donnell about his assets during his five-day examination before the Commercial Court earlier this year as part of the bank's bid to enforce a €75m judgment.

The examination arose from the bank obtaining judgment against Mr O'Donnell and his wife last December over loans mainly for property investments.

Trust

The bank has separate proceedings contesting claims that the O'Donnell family home at Gorse Hill, Vico Road, Killiney, is owned by the couple's children via a trust.

Last July, BoI obtained permission from the court to bring a motion seeking that the couple be brought before the court and jailed for allegedly being in contempt of the courts.

The judge, who gave the couple until September 12 to submit a formal reply to BoI's motion, fixed the hearing of the motion to October 2.

Yesterday when the matter was mentioned before the court, Paul Gardiner, for the bank, said the purpose of the application was that Mr and Mrs O'Donnell, who have applied to the UK courts to be declared bankrupt, provide BoI with the documentation that it requires.

Counsel said BoI had not got the material it was looking for.

Lawyers representing the couple with an address at at Barton Street, London, asked the judge to adjourn the case so that they could respond to the BoI allegation of contempt.

Mr Justice Kelly said the couple were aware of, but had not availed of, the time they were given to respond to the bank's application. The matter should go ahead as planned.

Irish Independent

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