A county councillor has told a court he is facing bankruptcy as a result of failed business dealings.
He said he doesn’t have any money to pay compensation to a woman he drove over 16 years ago.
John O’Donnell featured in the recent RTÉ Investigates programme allegedly asking for payment for assistance with a windfarm application — a claim he denies.
Mr O’Donnell’s finances were laid bare in a remarkable hearing at Letterkenny District Civil Court yesterday at which he admitted having millions of euro in debts.
Petra Kucklick, a German native from Mill Cottage, Rooskey, Creeslough, is suing Mr O’Donnell for an outstanding €33,000 debt from a personal injury claim.
The court heard that he had paid €7,600 in 2009 but then stopped making any payments despite a court order.
Ms Kucklick’s barrister, Laura O’Reilly, representing the Legal Aid Board, said she had been awarded personal injury compensation in 2008 and that Mr O’Donnell had failed to pay any of the award.
The 2008 judgment related to an incident in 2000 in which Mr O’Donnell had driven over her foot at a building site in the county.
The court heard that Mr O’Donnell had still not handed over details of his bank accounts in this state and in Northern Ireland to Ms Kucklick.
In his evidence, Mr O’Donnell said:
Donations made to Termon Ladies gaelic team, Milford GAA club, and Kilmacrennan Celtic had come from either a council fund or limited companies and not him personally;
Ms O’Reilly told Mr O’Donnell that he had paid “scant” regard to the court orders against him in this case.
“I genuinely didn’t have the money to pay anything,” said Mr O’Donnell.
Judge Paul Kelly described the Millbridge Inn situation as “shadowy to say the least”.
He said Mr O’Donnell had provided only a sketchy outline of all his business dealings and earnings.
Judge Kelly adjourned the case until March 2 when Mr O’Donnell must provide a proper up-to-date statement of means and all bank records north and south of the border.
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