O’Donnell to bring in experts on banking

Solicitor Brian O’Donnell says he will bring in expert witnesses on banking regulation as part of the latest challenge by him and his wife Mary Patricia to their bankruptcy, the High Court heard yesterday.

They are seeking to annul their bankruptcy which was confirmed in February by the Supreme Court.

Yesterday, Mr O’Donnell sought additional time to respond to a sworn statement provided to court by Bank of Ireland in which it says the challenge should be dismissed on the basis that the matter has been fully dealt with in the High and Supreme Courts.

The bank says the O’Donnell case is unstatable and should not be entertained.

Ms Justice Caroline Costello adjourned the matter for two weeks for mention to allow the O’Donnells deal with the bank’s latest affidavit but said she would keep open a March 26 date which she had earmarked for the hearing of the annulment application.

She would not dismiss the case because the bank had only filed an affidavit replying to the O’Donnell claims last Friday.

Mr O’Donnell had made “very serious accusations and aspersions” against the bank and she believed the bank had needed time to deal with them.

Mr O’Donnell had complained the bank had 93 days to file the 20-page affidavit which was before the court yesterday but he had only received it last Friday.

Mr O’Donnell also said he would be bringing in expert witnesses on banking regulation and licensing of banks as part of his annulment case.

Allegations of fraud by him were not made “for fun” but were based on what is the law governing the Central Bank and consumer credit.

He said he would be presenting new material which was not put before previous court hearings.

Mark Sanfey SC for the bank said all the matters raised by Mr O’Donnell were fully dealt with in decisions of the High Court and Supreme Court, which had stated clearly the monies lent to the O’Donnells were from Bank of Ireland.

Mr Sanfey said Mr O’Donnell was making an allegation of fraud against almost everyone, including bankers and lawyers, in the hope it will “get him round” the fact that he had accepted the 2011 settlement of his €71.5m debt with the bank.

Ms Justice Costello said said she was adjourning all matters to March 23 next for mention.

These include an application by the court-appointed official handling the O’Donnell bankruptcy, official assignee Chris Lehane, for leave to cross-examine the O’Donnell children.

Blake O’Donnell said he and his siblings, Alexandra, Blaise, and Bruce, would be applying for rescission and damages proceedings in relation to a search warrant obtained by the official assignee for the former family home, Gorse Hill, Killiney, Co Dublin.

Earlier yesterday, at a separate hearing in the Commercial Court, Mr Justice Brian McGovern also adjourned separate outstanding matters relating to Gorse Hill including €180,000 for lost rental income which the receiver says he is due from the O’Donnell children while they were in occupation of the house.


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