Previously on Slumleaks, we introduced the O’Donnell clan and their companies.
Their introductions left us with more questions than answers, and our researchers at Slumleaks HQ were keen to know more. So, shovels at the ready, the digging commenced… and led us to a golden nugget known as Aldborough House.
What is Aldborough House and how is a derelict Georgian mansion on Portland Row connected to the O’Donnell family?
Sit back and relax folks, this one is about to get interesting.
To give a brief introduction, Aldborough House was the last Georgian mansion to be built in Dublin. It was used as a school in 18th Century before coming into State ownership in 1843. Since then the house served various public roles until it was privately bought in the late 1990s.
The last two decades have not been kind to Aldborough House, as poor maintenance and upkeep caused the building to decay. There have been various calls by the local community, An Taisce, the Department of Arts and Heritage and the Irish Georgian Society throughout the years for its restoration. However these were largely ignored.
As Aldborough House stood derelict it symbolised a lack of State ambition towards community development, a reluctance to intervene and an acceptance of degeneration.
In 2014, following an arson attack, Reliance Investments Limited purchased the site – as the old sayin’ goes: redevelopers are fond of a good fire.
Who owns Reliance Investments Ltd? None other than our star family, the O’Donnells.
We previously mentioned that the owners of 38 and 39 Summerhill Parade like to keep their identity unknown to tenants. In addition to being camera shy, the O’Donnells like to apply the same covertness when it comes to affairs of business. Reliance Investments Ltd is no exception, which is why they set about registering it in the Isle of Man, via the names of friends in high places – you’ll see what we mean by this in a moment.
On 11th of July 2014, Reliance Investments Ltd registered as a company in the Isle of Man with the address: Sovereign House, 14-16 Nelson Street, Douglas.
Diane Dentith and John Philip Dentith of Sovereign Registers Limited were initially appointed as directors.
A little context to these names: the Sovereign Group is defined as ‘one of the world’s largest consultancies specialising in the provision of offshore trusts and companies and associated international tax advice…. with assets under administration in excess of $10 Billion’ – to which Diane Dentith is named as managing director.
Not only do Diane and John arrange business from the Isle of Man but they too have appointments in the following
That’s right, Panama. Looks like our little auld Irish O’Donnell family are brushing shoulders with some big players. We’ll give you a moment to let this information sink in….
Indeed, moving to a new island can be stressful and pre-established networks can help ease such a transition. Luckily, Pat O’Donnell & Co.’s biggest shareholder ‘Cronan Limited’ is on hand to help them settle on the Isle. The shares in Pat O’Donnell & Co. total upwards of £55 million, these guys aren’t messing.
We at Slumleaks were of course very interested to know who this best friend/shareholder of Pat O’Donnell & Co. is, so we researched…. and researched…. and researched some more… to find it’s none other than Pat O’Donnell himself; a kind of financial incest so to speak. ‘Money? Oh yeah, we like to keep that in the family’.
So back to Reliance Investments Ltd. On the 15th of July 2014 – four days after setting up on the Isle of Man – Reliance Investments Limited registered in Ireland. Here we have an unconfirmed picture of PJ O’Donnell awaiting the Stenaline home to Dublin:
A few months later, Reliance Investments went on to purchase Aldborough House on the 4th of September 2014, but the shy Patrick O’Donnell Snr did not sign himself as director until the 1st of January 2016.
A full redevelopment of Aldborough House into office spaces has been given the go-ahead by Dublin City Council despite huge community resistance. You can bet your pennies on this one that Pat O’Donnell and Co. will be onsite providing the construction equipment.
Not only has Aldborough House been left to rot under the O’Donnell’s ownership, they are also succeeding in running down a whole community into slum-like conditions – redevelopers are fond of a good fire, or even, a good slum that can easily catch fire… This is a calculated move, serving only to deteriorate standards for the purpose of redevelopment.
Now that we know this, we can understand why the O’Donnell’s are not so keen to be identified.
Is this IFSC ‘social cleansing’ part two? You decide.