O'Donnell's luxury pile in 'Bel Eire' a symbol of wealth
THE lawyer at the centre of a legal battle over €70m owed to state-backed Bank of Ireland lives in the millionaires' paradise of Vico Road in Killiney, south Dublin.
Brian O'Donnell, who owes more than €800m to banks in several different countries, boasts a luxury pile in the leafy suburb sometimes called "Bel Eire," for the collection of well-heeled residents that it has managed to attract.
As one of the many professionals caught up in the madness of the property boom, Mr O'Donnell's house tells of a lifestyle that is a far cry from that of the taxpayers who have been asked to clean up the mess caused by bankers and developers.
Surrounded by large ivy-topped slated walls, ornamented with carved pottery, a letter box shaped like a dragon's head and a black faux-gothic gate, the two-storey property stands on the side of scenic Killiney Hill.
The building, where the lawyer lives with wife Dr Mary Pat O'Donnell, is barely visible from the road. The house is just a stone's throw from Bono's recently renovated pad and Enya's Manderley Castle.
Mr O'Donnell, originally a corporate law specialist, can boast of being among members of the great and the good in the area where other property owners include Bono's bandmate the Edge, Van Morrison and Eddie Jordan.
Walkers and locals politely declined to talk about Mr O'Donnell when approached yesterday.
When the Irish Independent called to the house a woman answered the buzzer for the door. But when asked if Mr O'Donnell was home, she refused to respond.
At the height of the boom, property in the area reached €6m. Even now, a house on nearby Victoria Road is listed for sale at €2.9m.