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Dearbhail McDonald, Irish Indepenent – 12 November 2013
ENTREPRENEUR Graham O'Donnell, founder of Spirit of Ireland, a national project for "energy independence", has been hit with a judgment of almost €13m by Ulster Bank.
The judgment, which will be published in this week's edition of debt weekly 'Stubbs Gazette', was registered last week against Mr O'Donnell and his fellow developer and business partner Wesley Curran.
The Irish Independent has learned that both Mr O'Donnell and Mr Curran were recently adjudicated bankrupts at Birmingham County Court in England after QS Construction Limited, a creditor, moved against the duo.
Mr O'Donnell, who lived in Dublin's Sandycove but with an address at Granville Street, Birmingham, is a developer and electrical engineer.
Three years ago his Spirit of Ireland project – a bid to make the country energy independent and a net exporter of energy – was showcased on RTE's 'The Frontline'.
Mr Curran, with an address at Browning Street, Birmingham, was adjudicated a bankrupt last June.
The men first rose to prominence in 2007 when they were given approval by An Bord Pleanala for a €50m development on a site close to the centre of Dalkey in south Dublin.
The 2.2-acre site surrounding Santa Maria, formerly the family home of the Jacobs family, boasts spectacular views.
The men later courted controversy in 2012 when an advertisement for Castlepark, a development of apartments they were building in Dalkey boasted about the absence of social housing.
The advertisements, which Mr O'Donnell said complied with planning legislation, were the subject of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland by former Green Party TD Ciaran Cuffe.