Thursday 18 January 2018

O’Donnell jail threat may be lifted

Tim Healy

AN application by Bank of Ireland (BOI)to have solicitor Brian O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia jailed for an alleged contempt of court may be struck out if they continue to provide information about their financial position, the Commercial Court heard today.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly was today due to hear the bank's application for attachment and committal to prison of the couple for failure to comply with an order that certain documentation be provided to it. It is part of the bank's bid to determine the couple's exact financial status in its ongoing efforts to enforce a €75m judgment against them.

The documents were sought by BOI arising out answers given by Mr O'Donnell during his five day examination before the Commercial Court earlier this year about his assets 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.

Today, Paul Gardiner SC, for BOI, said there had been progress recently on the provision of documents and more had been provided this morning.

He asked the judge to facilitate the parties with an adjournment as they were hoping to analyse the bank accounts involved to see "whether we can trace monies placed by Mr O'Donnell."

Mr Gardiner asked that the case be listed for mention on October 22 and if the couple continued to assist the bank "it may be possible to strike out the matter."

Mr Justice Kelly agreed to the adjournment saying the bank was entitled to time to consider the material that had been supplied.

The O'Donnell's, who were not present in court, were represented by a Queen's Counsel Ronan Lavery who told the court that he agreed with what Mr Gardiner said.

The committal to prison application arose after BOI said it had not got the documentation from the O'Donnells that it had looked for.

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