New Land League member threatens action against Vincent Browne

John Martin claims he was assaulted by broadcaster as media entered Gorse Hill

A member of the New Land League blockading the O'Donnell family house in Killiney has threatened to take an action against broadcaster Vincent Browne and TV3.

John Martin, who has been taking part in the blockade of Gorse Hill on Vico Road since Monday, has claimed that he was assaulted by Mr Browne on Wednesday.

TV3 and Vincent Browne have declined to comment on Mr Martin’s allegations. TV3 said it was not the type of situation on which the station would normally comment.

Mr Martin's claims come as the New Land League maintain their blockade while the High Court hears an application for a trespass order against Brian and Mary Patricia O'Donnell in relation to their former property.

The alleged incident was said to have taken place when Mr Browne entered the grounds of the property, followed by journalists and television crews.

Speaking to the media at Gorse Hill, Mr Martin, a former Dublin Corporation worker, said he would first make a complaint to local gardaí about the alleged incident.

He said that he would then take an action against Mr Browne “and his employer TV3”.

The self-styled New Land League has been guarding Gorse Hill against a receiver for Bank of Ireland since Monday.

Brian O’Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia remained inside the house from Monday to Thursday.

Trespass notice

On Tuesday, representatives of the receiver pinned a trespass notice to the gates of the property after the High Court rejected an attempt by the couple’s children, Blaise, Blake, Bruce and Alexandra O’Donnell, to stop the repossession of the house.

Brian O’Donnell left Gorse Hill shortly after 8am on Thursday to contest the allegations that he is trespassing in his former home.

The New Land League has been blockading the house at the invitation of the O’Donnells.

The deadline imposed by the High Court for the couple to vacate the property expired at 4pm on Wednesday afternoon.

It was the latest in a series of deadlines by which the couple were expected to leave the property, which a court last month assigned to a receiver for Bank of Ireland. The assignment was on foot of a claim for debts of about €71.5 million.

The New Land League said it would be fronting a constitutional challenge against the State to prevent the eviction of the O’Donnell family from their home.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist