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Receiver: lost rental income on Gorse Hill is €12,500 a month

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Blaise and Blake O'Donnell 
Picture By David Conachy  07/03/2015

Blaise and Blake O'Donnell Picture By David Conachy 07/03/2015

David Conachy

Blaise and Blake O'Donnell Picture By David Conachy 07/03/2015

SOLICITOR Brian O'Donnell's childrens' case over the former family home was back in the High Court today to deal with outstanding issues including rent on the house due to the receiver.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern also said today he will give his decision on the trespass proceedings which were heard last week some day this week but he could not say exactly when.

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Blaise and Blake O'Donnell

Blaise and Blake O'Donnell

David Conachy

Gorse Hill

Gorse Hill

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Blaise and Blake O'Donnell

The matters before Mr Justice McGovern today included a claim by bank appointed receiver Tom Kavanagh for more than €180,000 damages for lost rental income from Gorse Hill, Vico Road, Killiney, Dublin, had been "parked" in October 2013 to allow the four adult children appeal a High Court decision giving Bank of Ireland possession of the house which was part security on a €71.5m debt of Brian and Mary Pat O'Donnell.

Mr Kavanagh brought a separate claim for damages based on lost rental income of some €12,500 a month for Gorse Hill since June 2012, the date the bank asserts it was entitled to possession. 

It was claimed the children -   Alexandra,Blaise, Blake and Bruce  were in unlawful occupation of the property.  They recently moved out following a Supreme Court decision rejecting their appeal against possession.

Gorse Hill, along with three and a half acres, is now said to be worth upto €7m although it was valued at €30m in 2006.

The High and Supreme Court cases involving the children centred on whether the property was an asset of a trust legally and beneficially owned by the children.

Mr Justice McGovern found Gorse Hill was not held by the trust and there was therefore no proprietary claim open to the children as beneficiaries of the trust.

That decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in December .

Mr Justice McGovern adjourned the question of inquiry into damages for lost rent for two weeks.  He also adjourned two other matters in relation to the Gorse Hill proceedings.

Separately today, the O'Donnell parents have an application before another High Court judge to annul their bankruptcy which the Supreme Court also confirmed last month.

Brian O'Donnell is to bring in experts on banking regulation as part of the latest challenge by him and his wife Mary Patricia to their bankruptcy, the High Court heard today.

Mr O'Donnell sought additional time to respond to a sworn statement provided to court by Bank of Ireland seeking to have his new bankruptcy challenge 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 (March 23) for mention to allow the O'Donnells 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 challenge.

She would not dismiss the case because the bank had only filed an affidavit replying to the O'Donnell claims 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 complained the bank had had 93 days to file the 20 page affidavit which was before the court today but he had only received it last Friday.   

He said given the fact the number of documents the bank was now putting before the court, he needed more time than just over two weeks to get his case ready.  

While the bank had a large team of lawyers, Mr O'Donnell said he had only himself and his son Blake to deal with this and a number of other matters before the courts.

"I says that two weeks to go through two feet thick of documents is not reasonable", he said.

Mr O'Donnell also said he would be bringing in expert witnesses on banking relation and licensing of banks as part of his challenge seeking to set aside the bankruptcy.   Allegations of fraud by him were not done for fun but were based on what is stated in the law governing the Central Bank and consumer credit agreements.

Mark Sanfey SC, for the bank, said all the matters raised by Mr O'Donnell were fully dealt with in decisions of the High Court and Supreme Court, which had stated clearly the monies lent to the O'Donnells were from Bank of Ireland.    The O'Donnells claim that as it was Bank of Ireland Private Banking they dealt with, and this was not a bank but a mortgage intermediary, then what it had done was illegal.

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

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