O'Donnells fail in new bankruptcy bid
SOLICITOR and property mogul Brian O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia face litigation over up to €70m in Ireland after their bid for bankruptcy in England was again refused on appeal.
The O'Donnells left Ireland in late 2011 to live in a £10.5m (€12.3m) London property after Bank of Ireland obtained a judgment against them in Ireland for €71.5m plus costs.
In a bid to persuade an English court that his "centre of main interest" was there, Mr O'Donnell even revealed that the family had reserved a plot at Westminster's Mill Hill Cemetery.
He also told the court of his family's regular shopping trips to luxury food store Fortnum & Mason.
Bank of Ireland, the couple's biggest creditor, has accused them of engaging in "bankruptcy tourism" by trying to move their massive arrears into English jurisdiction.
Following the property crash, their empire was hit with bank proceedings for €69m two days before Christmas 2010.
But their bid for bankruptcy in England was rejected by the High Court in December.
And Judge Terence Etherton, sitting at London's Civil Appeal Court, yesterday ruled that a challenge by the couple against that decision had no "real prospect of success".
Mr and Mrs O'Donnell amassed a property empire that spanned the world. They must now face pending litigation relating to their debts at the High Court in Dublin.