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‘Gorse Hill’ scion Blake O’Donnell leaves the New Land League in the race for the English Tory seat

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Blake O’Donnell, whose family was at the center of the notorious Gorse Hill property saga, is standing as a candidate for the Conservative Party in Thursday’s local elections in Britain.

he Tory barrister, who has lived in Croydon since 2015, is running for a council seat in the low-key London suburb of Norbury Park, whose two seats have been occupied by Labor for four years.

Mr O’Donnell came third in the 2018 election, receiving 17 per cent of the vote in the newly formed, ethnically diverse constituency.

His biography page on the Croydon Conservatives website highlights his legal experience in finance and bankruptcy, as well as his background in entrepreneurship, which the party said would help him “wisely manage taxpayers’ money”.

Mr O’Donnell was a central figure in the battle for Gorse Hill, the multi-million euro cliff-top mansion on Dublin’s Killiney Hill that was seized by the Bank of Ireland in 2015 as part of a bankruptcy dispute involving property developer Brian O’Donnell and his wife became Mary Patricia, Blake’s parents.

Blake O’Donnell represented the family’s interests before the Four Courts in the protracted and acrimonious case in which the bank sought to enforce a €71.5 million 2011 bankruptcy judgment in part by garnishing the family home.

In a move to retain ownership, the O’Donnells entrusted the luxury home to their four children, including Blake, but the Supreme Court ordered them to vacate.

When the parents returned to Killiney to claim their “right of residence,” they barricaded themselves inside while members of the New Land League, led by Jerry Beades, protested outside.

The Bank of Ireland’s legal counsel at the time scoffed at the O’Donnells being members of the “landowning class”.

The spectacle of populist protesters invading Dublin’s millionaires’ district – home to celebrities such as Bono, Van Morrison and Enya – drew media attention for several weeks.

The family played the redemption angle at a time when thousands of ordinary mortgage holders were struggling with long-term debt arrears piled up during the Celtic Tiger, urging them to disrupt the Bank of Ireland’s annual general meeting with their pleas.

The case dragged on through dozens of court hearings over five years before the family’s most recent appeal in 2016 was denied, allowing the bank to put the home on the market for €8.5million.

https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/gorse-hill-scion-blake-odonnell-ditches-new-land-league-in-race-for-english-tory-seat-41605948.html ‘Gorse Hill’ scion Blake O’Donnell leaves the New Land League in the race for the English Tory seat

Fry Electronics Team

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