O'Donnells to apply for stay on bankruptcy case

Monday 11 March 2013 16.36
The High Court may have to consider whether there should be a reference made to Europe under EU law
The High Court may have to consider whether there should be a reference made to Europe under EU law

Dublin solicitor Brian O'Donnell and his wife are to apply for a stay next month on bankruptcy proceedings in this jurisdiction pending the hearing of appeals against a decision by the UK courts not to make them bankrupt there.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne will decide in April whether the bankruptcy proceedings should go ahead or be put back pending the appeal decisions in the UK.

Bank of Ireland is pursuing Mr O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia for some €75m.

Last week, the couple lost their bid to get a High Court judge in London to reverse his decision in December refusing them the right to go bankrupt in the UK, rather than in the Republic of Ireland.

They are bringing that case to the Court of Appeal.

Ronan Lavery, QC, said there were two sets of appeal in the UK.

He said his side will be looking for a stay in the Irish proceedings pending the finalising of the appeals in the UK.

Counsel said there was a discrete point on whether the appeals should be heard before the Irish proceedings.

He said there was a real danger of irreconcilable judgments if they do not wait for the appeal process to be finalised.

The High Court may also have to consider whether there should be a reference made to Europe under EU law, he said.

Bernard Dunleavy, BL for the petitioner, said his side will show the case tracker in the UK appeal system, which shows the O'Donnells have missed a window for an early hearing, because papers have not been lodged in time.

Ms Justice Dunne adjourned the matter to 9 April, when she will hear submissions on whether the Irish proceedings should be put back until the UK appeals have been heard.