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O'Donnells start fight to keep €7m family mansion

THE children of solicitor Brian O'Donnell have begun their court battle to hold on to the family mansion in south Dublin.

The action by the four adult children - aimed at preventing Bank of Ireland seizing the luxury home in Killiney -- is to be fast-tracked by the Commercial Court.

The property at Gorse Hill, Vico Road, was valued at €30m in 2006.

It is now worth between €6m and €7m, according to a statement of affairs from Mr O'Donnell and his wife, Dr Mary Patricia O'Donnell, Mr Justice Peter Kelly heard.

Lawyer Cian Ferriter, for the bank, which is seeking to enforce a €71m judgment against the couple over unpaid loans for property investments, said the property was worth between €6m and €7m even in these times and the bank was anxious the case be heard as soon as possible.


In a separate action, the O'Donnell children, Alexandra, Blaise, Blake and Bruce, are challenging the appointment by the bank of a receiver and manager over the Gorse Hill property on June 7 last. They are also challenging mortgages and guarantees entered into in 2006 by Vico Ltd, the Isle of Man company which owns Gorse Hill.

The children's proceedings were issued in late July but, despite requests, the bank had not yet received a statement of claim, Mr Ferriter said. The matter was urgent and the bank wanted it fast-tracked in the Commercial Court. The bank may also apply to have struck out all or parts of the claims, counsel added.

Ross Maguire, for the children, said they were not opposing the application for transfer and his side would deliver a statement of claim within two weeks.

When the children previously indicated they would seek an interim court order to stop the bank seeking possession of the property, the bank told them it would not seek possession pending the hearing of the injunction application.

The injunction application will come back before the court on October 22.