Supreme Court rejects O’Donnell bid to remain at Gorse Hill

Court rejects application for stay on order to leave Killiney home

Brian O’Donnell and his wife must leave Gorse Hill by noon. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Brian O’Donnell and his wife must leave Gorse Hill by noon. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times


A legal bid by retired solicitor Brian O’Donnell and his wife aimed at preventing a receiver taking possession of their former family home in Killiney, Dublin, has failed.

A three-judge Supreme Court refused an application for a stay on the High Court injunction granted last March requiring them to leave the property at Gorse Hill, Vico Road, by noon today.

They sought the stay pending their Supreme Court application for leave to appeal a Court of Appeal decision, made earlier this month, refusing to overturn the injunction.

In a Supreme Court application last Monday, the O’Donnells argued their appeal centred on issues of public importance which should be determined in the public interest, including issues concerning the refusal of the High Court judge, Mr Justice Brian McGovern, to recuse himself.

Other issues included arguments that their case related to the ability of banks and receivers to obtain a mandatory order to gain possession of a family home rather than issue proceedings for possession and having a full hearing.

No novel legal issues

Bank of Ireland

The three-judge Supreme Court, comprising Chief Justice Mrs Justice Susan Denham, Mr Justice John MacMenamin, and Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, refused the application. Their 10-page determination said issues were raised by the O’Donnells which could not form part of the leave application and the court could only address issues arising from the Court of Appeal decision of April 15th last.

Public importance

It said the O’Donnells had not shown a Supreme Court appeal was necessary in the interests of justice, and had not made out a legal point relating to the High Court judge’s refusal to recuse himself.

It also rejected various other grounds raised, and said the O’Donnells received a “full hearing” in the High Court, followed by a full appeal to the Court of Appeal.  There could not be a further appeal to the Supreme Court unless certain parameters were met, the court said. Nor was there any basis for a reference of issues to the Court of Justice of the European Union.


Tom KavanaghMary Patricia

That application was unsuccessfully resisted in proceedings involving the couple’s four children. The O’Donnell parents moved back into Gorse Hill last February after their children vacated it in line with court orders. After dismissing the couple’s bid to prevent receivers taking possession, the Court of Appeal granted a stay on the possession injunction to April 29th to allow them seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

There was little activity at the house yesterday. Mr O’Donnell was seen at a window after midday and two visitors arrived in the afternoon.

Mr O’Donnell is expected to travel straight to the Bank of Ireland agm when he leaves Gorse Hill this morning. He and members of the New Land League are understood to have secured voting rights at the agm, where they are expected to criticise management over the repossession.