Wednesday 20 March 2019

'We've already paid banks €700m' - Brian O'Donnell

O'Donnell
O'Donnell

Tim Healy

Solicitor Brian O'Donnell claims he and his wife have paid €700m to banks worldwide but Bank of Ireland is the only one to have "persecuted us for five years".

Mr O'Donnell made the claim in opposing the bank's High Court application requiring him and his wife, Dr Mary Patricia O'Donnell, to peacefully give up possession of the former family home, Gorse Hill, Killiney, Dublin, to a receiver appointed by the bank in relation to a €71.5m debt which was partly secured on the house.

After hearing the arguments, Mr Justice Brian McGovern reserved his decision.

Mr O'Donnell, in opposing the bank's application for an injunction, also said while he knew businessman Jerry Beades of the New Land League "as a friend", he had not authorised any statements made by its members over the last few days.

He said a car parked in front of the gates of Gorse Hill was to prevent people rushing into the property as occurred on Wednesday.

He denied he was doing anything to frustrate receiver Tom Kavanagh who was due to take possession last Monday.

He was speaking in response to submissions by Cian Ferriter SC, for the bank, who said he was entitled to the injunction because the O'Donnells were simply engaged in "a tactical manoeuvre" to frustrate lawful efforts to take possession having "barricaded themselves and holding out a spurious right to remain there".

The O'Donnells' true family home is in Surrey, England, where they have lived for the last three years and from where they "flew in at the weekend" to move into Gorse Hill, counsel said.

Given that the "barricades had now been breached" and people were going into the property, his clients feared the security of the premises was in jeopardy.

The granting of an injunction for possession was also absolutely urgent for the upholding of the integrity of the administration of justice and the rule of law.

Mr O'Donnell denied they had barricaded themselves in but had to block the doors because on three occasions "there was a rush of people through the gates running around the garden".

Irish Independent

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