Meanwhile, In Killiney



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Top: the scene outside the home of  Solicitor Brian O’Donnell with his wife Dr Mary Patricia O’Donnell (centre, at the High Court in 20120, and an aerial view of their home in Vico Road, Killiney, Co Dublin reports:

“Solicitor Brian O’Donnell has barricaded himself into his palatial home in a last-ditch effort to prevent the banks taking possession of it. The high-profile legal eagle invited members of the Land League anti-repossession movement to stay with him at Gorse Hill on Vico Road, in Killiney in Dublin – once valued at €30m.”

Breaking: Solicitor barricades himself into palatial home (

Related : O’Donnell needs to wake up, smell the coffee and hand over mansion keys (Michael O’Doherty,

Pics: Irish Times and Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

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72 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In Killiney

    1. B Hewson

      No doubt as he ‘owner’ of the property, Mr O’Donnell will be settling his local property tax for GorseHill for 2015 in the next few weeks?

  1. gallantman

    Its a disgrace that ordinary, working, €71miliion debtors are being turfed out of their sprawling, seaside mansions.

    1. Real Joe

      the land league really have forgotten their roots, hint for ye chap it related to poor folk not wealthy folk. His debt with BOI will get passed to every customer of the bank as fee increases if that house doesn’t get repossessed.

  2. Anomanomanom

    So a multi millionaire wants help to hold on to a house he refuses to pay for. Only in Ireland do we have people with such self entitlement issues.

    1. Paolo

      No difference between him and someone refusing to move from a 2 bed semi that they are unable to pay for. It’s like going in to a restaurant without your wallet and kicking up a stink when the waiter gives you the bill.

      It’s great that families cannot get turfed out of their home without due process but why should anyone else suffer as a result of their bad judgment/luck?

      1. ahjayzis

        Ah come on, there’s a huge difference. The people evicted from their 2 bed semi have a much, MUCH higher prospect of becoming actually homeless – this guy can downgrade to a seven bed hovel in Castleknock.

        If I was on the verge of sleeping on a park bench, I’m gonna probably barricade myself in my flat too, rather than reflecting on my poor judgement and accepting my fate – I’d say you would too.

      2. Anomanomanom

        The massive difference is, the two bed-semi owners probably can’t afford it now because of wage cuts, tax increase or job loses brought on by the recession. Which are all brought on by people like him not paying the tens of millions they borrowed and gambled with.

  3. Del McG

    Yeah, I can certainly see the Land Leaguers siding with this lad alright!

    Bring me your poor, your downtrodden, your well-paid professionals, your strategic defaulters….


  4. macGafraidh

    Chrisht .. the poolhouse itself is about the size of your average abode in the wesht. You’d want to be swinging cats to make use of that space.

    1. Father Filth

      Probably swings a Liger about, with him in the buff, while eating one of those expensive Jacob’s marshmallow tea cakes, with a hint of coconut, that sell for nearly 4 euro a pack, with his free hand.

  5. Manolo

    I am hoping that he won’t do anything stupid and just walk out. But these guys tend to have big egos…

  6. phil

    Barricades!! look at the size of the place, he should have challenged the sherrif to a game of Hide & Go Seek …. They would never find them ..

  7. pissedasanewt

    When its empty maybe they could turn it into a homeless shelter?? Sheriff evicts them… knackers break in and gut the place. Everything stripped.. value plummets. He can buy it back through somebody else with the money he’s probably squirreled away in a Swiss bank account.

  8. B

    i hope the land league call on the spirit of constant markievicsz who gave his life for ireland.

  9. PhilJo

    Ehh, that’s the place he sold in order to build the gaff on Vico road, curiously it was the first time a seller was prosecuted for gazumping the buyer, I believe they took the garden , the light-bulbs and everything with them as a sign of their displeasure.

  10. Buzz

    I have a smidgen of sympathy for him, it may be palatial etc but it’s still his home. And it can’t be easy being forced out.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Who is responsible for the mortgage repayments?
      It doesn’t matter if this were a shack or a palace – if the mortgage terms are breached by the borrower and no restructuring agreement has been agreed upon, a repossession order seems fair enough.

    2. Charlie

      Really? He was a partner with a large law firm ( earning c 1 million a year) his wife is a doctor. Not happy with being a multi millionaire he borrowed 900 million euro to buy high end property. Still sympathetic ?

  11. JimmytheHead

    I hope they repossess it, would be a great location for a methadone clinic or super fancy homeless shelter. Hobo’s need pool houses too you know.

    1. Walter-Ego

      There is no mention that the Land League took him up on the offer. I’m hoping him they told him to “do one”.

      1. well

        “But this morning, Brian O’Donnell – aided by the Land League – stayed in the house.”

        The article suggests they did, that could be wrong of course.

  12. Soundings

    Does it really matter whether you have a studio in Finglas, a semi-d in Rathfarnham or a bungalow in Clare, if these places are your home where you have lived a life, and not any four walls, wouldn’t repossession and bailiffs still be traumatic? I’d feel more sympathetic for the real situation of the single mother in Finglas losing her home than the O’Donnells, for sure, partly because I can’t believe they’ll be left penniless and homeless (though they are both now bankrupted) and partly because who *needs* a palace like that, but regardless, I can understand what they’re feeling today and to many people who’ve had dealings with the O’Donnells, they’re decent people. They’ll have to vacate their family home of course, much like nearly 1,000 households did in Ireland last year, but still, they’re not monsters undeserving of any sympathy. Best wishes to them at this difficult time, as they say.

    1. ahyeah

      Family home? How many family homes are owned by investment trusts (established on an unknown date in an unknown jurisdiction)? What’s more, for the purposes of their UK bankruptcy application, they swore on oath that their place of residence was the UK – so how could this house be a family home? At best, it’s their holiday home. There’s quite a bit more to do this than a family being evicted.

      1. Soundings

        Completely agree with all of that. Once you go above a certain net worth, you start to put in place wealth protection measures, trusts, spreading risk, putting assets in joint or family member names, all of that stuff. And yep, they claimed their centre of main interest was the UK when the filed for bankruptcy, as did Ivan Yates, Shane Filan and I’d guess several thousand Irish indebted a year. All true, can’t argue with it,

        But, for all of that, the place is still their home, with everything that entails for all of us. And while I think they have to leave and surrender the house, and that is what will ultimately happen, I have some sympathy for what they’re going through today. For all the talk of entitlement and greed, they’ve exposed their dignity in a public way today, they are decent people and it’s a going to be a very difficult day for them. I hope they have somewhere to move to, and I hope they get back on their feet.

        1. ahyeah

          Fair enough on all the personal stuff. You’re a sight more compassionate person than I am.


          You hope they have somewhere to move to? I’d bet they have plenty of fairly salubrious options. There’s that house in London to start with.

          You hope they get back on their feet? They’re still very much on their feet.

          1. scottser

            Exactly. With what they earn in an afternoon, they could pay my monthly mortgage. These people claiming they’ve been hard done by is a sick joke.

        2. Paolo

          I also have sympathy for them. I have sympathy for anyone who finds that they can no longer afford the repayments on the mortgage but they should still be evicted, like everyone else. Why should we subsidise them having a free house? If they want that then they should get on the housing list ASAP.

    2. Dubloony

      Am sure it is traumatic. But I’m guessing that this family have more resources to find alternative accommodation than single mother in Finglas.
      Mr. O’Donnell had €1 billion in property assets at one point.

      He was declared bankrupt in 2012 and had a complicated trust structure saying that his adult children were the owners of the house, not him. He fraught it all the way to the Supreme Court.
      This case has been going on for years.

      I don’t know how much high court and supreme court challenges are but I’d say it would be out of the reach of your average punter.
      As sure that its difficult to fall hard when you have flown so high. but facing up to reality earlier could have saved them from a lot of this.

      1. Soundings

        + 1,000 (the number of homes forcibly repossessed last year, but in reality, people who’ve landed in sh*t have great difficulty adjusting and reacting to the reality as quickly as they should)

  13. Manolo

    Even if the family moved to the ‘summer house’ at the back and the main house was split into lots of luxury 1-bed apartments, on a €30m mortgage, interest only @5%, it would take 24 apartments paying €5k a month rent just to service the interest. That puts the madness in perspective a bit.

      1. Ciarán

        I somehow feel that the appropriate time for that ‘WOW’ would better have been in the exact moment when he asked for a €30m mortgage.

        1. Charlie

          It’s not a normal home loan situation. The house was put up as security against the €900 million they borrowed to buy numerous other properties.
          €900 million !!!!
          This guy is a total bullshit artist, ego as big as the house he’s illegally occupying. it’s time he grew a pair and accepts he was a total idiot in losing the family fortune, sort of same group as the Anglo gambling Sean Quinn.

  14. dhaughton99

    Before its sold to yer man who owns UPC, I’m willing to do security in the place so no pikeys knick the copper pipes.

  15. Frilly Keane

    Its all very unseemly

    I can only imagine the airs n’graces blowing off the pair a’ them over the years.

    And now they’ve resorted to the Land Leaguers for company in that absurd monstrosity.

    I’ve no sympathy for them
    Not because I’m being mean-spirited
    But because their behaviour only puts others off dealing with their financial struggles / insolvency either with creditors or with their own financial recovery.

    They tried it on and tried it on and tried it on

    If anything, I suppose, is that they are proof that deceit and blaggarding their creditors and the law in this area is not the way to go.

    1. Buzz

      Not everyone who lives in a nice house has air ‘n graces blowing off them Frilly. Most recognise the randomness of their privilege and tip their hat to the ancestral conman that made it happen.

      1. Frilly Keane

        I didnt realise I was saying people in nice gaffs have airs and graces wafting from them.


        That was not intended.

        There are plenty people in sh1t holes with their noses up. Just as there a many in trophy homes who would qualify as “the best a’people”
        I’ve met them all.

        Peter and Trish, I’m sure, are only delighted to have the lads around to their holiday home. The kettle is never off the boil, and they’re dipping the jammy dodgers inta the matching Cream Egg mugs.

        They’re playing cards cause it’s too miserable for tennis. And there might even be a bit of argy bargy over who ‘ate the last of the pineapple Swiss roll.
        I’m sure.

  16. Wayne Carr

    The gas thing is that the O’Donnells would probably, ten years ago, have spat on the knackers running the Land League. Shame on both for backing down.

  17. Kdoc

    There are no Michael Davitts or Parnells in this Land League nua. At its helm is a former developer and former member of Fianna Fail’s national executive.

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