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Now O'Donnell's prestige HQ for sale at just €1.9m

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Brian and Mary O'Donnell

Brian and Mary O'Donnell

Brian and Mary O'Donnell

THE former Merrion Square HQ of solicitor Brian O'Donnell– who failed in a bid to secure bankruptcy in the UK – is up for sale at a knockdown €1.9m.

Former Celtic Tiger power couple Mr O'Donnell and his wife Mary were serious property speculators at the height of the boom.

As well as owning a spectacular home in Killiney, they also had the deeds of 61 and 62 Merrion Square – two five-storey period buildings and as an adjoining property in Fitzwilliam Lane.

The properties were all mentioned in the couple's bankruptcy bid in the UK.

 

Elegants

In 2005 the three properties were valued at €30m.

But one of these properties is now up for sale with Sherry Fitzgerald for less than €2m.

The exclusive Georgian building at 62 Merrion Square was once the headquarters of Mr O'Donnell's law firm.

The building overlooks the prestigious square and the 539 sqm property retains some original period features, including stained glass windows.

There is a "good-sized town garden", which currently provides off-street parking for up to six cars.

Sherry Fitzgerald said that the building is currently in office use, but it is "ideally suited to a very elegant city residence".

"Of particular note are the stunning elegant reception rooms on the hall and first floors, which make the property ideally suited to a variety of uses and for those who enjoy entertaining on a regular basis," the vendor advertisement outlines.

The building is on the south side of Merrion Square, near to Government Buildings, the Merrion Hotel and the National Art Gallery.

The property-speculating businessman attempted to file for bankruptcy in the UK last year. When the property bubble burst and the couple owed significant debts, they put the properties on the market, but were evicted by Bank of Ireland in 2011.

Earlier this year, Bank of Ireland's Richie Boucher estimated the value of the charges it holds over four properties formerly belonging to the O'Donnells at €21.7m – a shortfall of €50m on the total amount the bank was seeking to be repaid.

Mr O'Donnell later lamented in court that he "only got €20,000" for the contents of the building.

This included a Stradivarius violin, mahogany doors and stained glass windows.

Mr O'Donnell said that the features in the building were particularly impressive including "some of the best stained glass windows outside of Dublin Castle".

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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