28 Sept 2022

Councillor failed to make payments



Cllr. John O’Donnell failed to make the first two payments of a settlement in a civil case on time, a court has heard.

Cllr O'Donnell agreed on March 2 at the same court to begin making weekly payments of €100 to a woman he injured in a car accident 16 years ago.

Petra Kucklick, a German native from Mill Cottage, Rooskey, Creeslough, sued O’Donnell for an outstanding €33,000 debt from a personal injury claim.

She was awarded the money in 2008 but Cllr O'Donnell had stopped making payments.

After a number of cases earlier this year Cllr O'Donnell agreed to begin payments again.

However Judge Paul Kelly was told today by Ms Kucklick's barrister Laura O'Reilly that the independent politician from Kilmacrennan had missed the first two payments in April.

This was only settled this morning by cheque she said.

She also complained that although payments had to be made each Friday, these were not arriving in Ms Kucklick's bank account until the following Monday.

However solicitor Kevin McElhinney, representing Cllr O'Donnell, said the re-entry of the case was an attempt to embarrass his client.

"My client has met all his commitments in full and has been complying with the order," said the solicitor.

"This case is an attempt to further ridicule and embarrass my client."

He also objected to an application to have payments made earlier each week.

Mr McElhinney said Cllr O'Donnell had set up a standing order each Friday as he was paid on that day each week and any delay between the money leaving his account and arriving in Ms Kucklick's account was a matter for the banks.

He said changing payments to a Wednesday or a Thursday wouldn't suit Cllr O'Donnell as this was before he received his wages.

Judge Kelly agreed and said he would not change the payment date.

However he awarded costs to Ms Kucklick for today's hearing as Cllr O'Donnell had missed the first two payments, saying the politician had been in court in March and knew the dates on which payments had to begin in April.

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