SLIDESHOW: Limerick developer’s Killiney mansion for sale for €8.5m

Battle of Gorse Hill: Six-bed property with coastal views was home to Brian O'Donnell

Anne Sheridan


Anne Sheridan

EMBATTLED Limerick born solicitor and property developer Brian O’Donnell has seen his Killiney mansion put on the market for €8.5m.

The now infamous Gorse Hill on the Vico Road includes six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and the highest bidder for the second most expensive home on the market in Dublin currently will count Bono and Enya as neighbours.

The 10,220sq ft property on two acres is on the market through joint agents Sherry FitzGerald and Knight Frank on behalf of receiver Tom Kavanagh of Deloitte for Bank of Ireland.

The property was the subject of a high profile and lengthy High Court dispute, after attempts by his family to stop receivers repossessing the family home, which Mr O'Donnell insisted was in his children’s names.

Simon Ensor, director at Sherry FitzGerald, said they are confident the property “will attract significant interest from both domestic and international purchasers, particularly in a post Brexit environment.”  

Rena O’Kelly, director at Knight Frank added that “purchasers will undoubtedly be drawn by this ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to purchase a unique family friendly home in Dublin’s premier coastal address.’’ 

Mr O’Donnell famously walked into the Bank of Ireland AGM and threw a set of keys with a keyring marked “The Bloody Keys” at Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher.

The case ended last October when a Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by the O’Donnell family against a decision to lift a legal bar on the sale of the property.

Mr O’Donnell, 64, who is originally from the Ennis Road in Limerick and attended the Crescent College Comprehensive, was known as a talented rugby player in the city, while his brothers Hugh, Richard and Robin still live locally.

At one point the couple barricaded themselves inside the property, which was once valued at €30m. 

TV3 broadcaster and Limerick native Vincent Browne gained entry to the grounds in 2015, describing it as “the most spectacular place I’ve seen, certainly in Ireland.

“Charlie Haughey’s house was far exceeded in lavishness by this house, [it] was worth a fraction of what this house is worth,” said Mr Browne.

Mr O’Donnell and his wife, who have four children – Blaise, Blake, Bruce and Alexandra – were being pursued for a debt of €71.5m by Bank of Ireland when the bank began court proceedings to repossess their home.

The palatial property, which includes an outdoor swimming pool, was acquired in 1997 for nearly €1.4 million as the O’Donnell family residence in what was part of a “very complex legal structure”.

The house also boasts a gym and sauna, an all-weather tennis court, snooker room and wine store.

The O’Donnell couple built up a global property empire worth close to €1billion (£732million) at the height of the boom, which has since collapsed and many of their assets have been sold.

The couple were declared bankrupt by the High Court in Dublin in 2013.

Other properties in the area of a similar size and price-tag include Sorrento House, which sold for €10 million, Beulah fetched €6 million and Inniscorrig, is on the market for €8.5 million.

Only the eight-bed 'Fintragh', 11 Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, is priced higher presently, at €9.7m.