Solicitor Brian O’Donnell, who along with his wife Mary Pat O'Donnell was embroiled in a high-profile legal battle with Bank of Ireland over a €71m debt, has said he is now "debt free, out of retirement and has reactivated his real estate investment and development business".

Mr O'Donnell was formally discharged from bankruptcy at a sitting of the High Court today.

Both Mr O'Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia, formally of Gorse Hill, Vico Road, Killiney Co Dublin, but now living in the UK, were adjudicated bankrupt by the High Court in August of 2013.

That finding was confirmed by the Supreme Court in February 2015.

In July 2016 the O'Donnells' bankruptcy was extended following an application by the official in charge of his bankruptcy, the Official Assignee (OA) in Bankruptcy Mr Chris Lehane, for alleged non cooperation. 

The O'Donnells had opposed the move and denied the allegations.

Ms Justice Costello was informed by barrister Eddie Farrelly for the Official Assignee that his client no longer wished to extend Mr O'Donnell's bankruptcy.

He said Mr Lehane was satisfied that all outstanding and historical issues in relation to the bankruptcy had been addressed. 

In a statement issued through his son Blake O'Donnell's UK-based law firm today, Mr O’Donnell Sr said "during his forced retirement from business" his energies have been "largely devoted to managing the Irish legal process" as well as dealing with "dozens of lawyers and other professionals".

He added his business activities will focus on "the UK and international markets" and that he has "no present intention to conduct future business in Ireland".

Mr O’Donnell Sr said he will be joining his son’s law firm.

Last October the O'Donnell family lost a case in the Court of Appeal against a decision lifting a legal bar on the sale of Gorse Hill.

The property was owned by Mr O'Donnell Sr, however, the house was seized by a receiver acting on behalf of Bank of Ireland and sold in recent weeks.

The bank appointed a receiver to recover €71.57m owed to it by Mr O'Donnell Sr and his wife.

He was not at court for the brief hearing, but was represented by Mr O'Donnell Jr. Mrs O'Donnell had exited bankruptcy in December 2016.