€100m: the price of love for Seán Dunne
‘Love, affection, cooking the odd meal, washing the odd shirt, the odd one’
Seán Dunne with his wife Gayle Killilea at their home in Ballsbridge.
Bankrupt property developer Seán Dunne has told his creditors he pledged a fifth of his fortune in 2005, a sum then worth about €100 million, to his wife Gayle Killilea in return for “love and affection”.
Facing questions from creditors at a meeting in his US bankruptcy proceedings, Mr Dunne revealed that he owes Ms Killilea $44 million (€33 million) under two agreements, dating back to 2005 and 2008.
The Co Carlow developer told a meeting in Connecticut, where he filed for bankruptcy in March with debts of more than €700 million, the couple reached the 2005 agreement on a holiday to Thailand, the year after they were married.
Asked by an attorney for the National Asset Management Agency what Ms Killilea provided in return, Mr Dunne said: “Love and affection… and children… having a happy marriage… cooking the odd meal…. washing the odd shirt, the very odd one.”
The agreement, written by Ms Killilea, ensured he had his own independent wealth and that Ms Killilea had her own, he said. “My only regret is that I didn’t gift more.”
The couple decided on the agreement after being advised a prenuptial agreement had no legal standing in Ireland and following the death of Ms Killilea’s best friend in the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and the birth of their first child in 2005.
Mr Dunne said he wanted Ms Killilea to have more children and to be financially independent and they had been discussing the agreement for about a year beforehand. They agreed “a continuation of the 2005 agreement” three years later because he had not transferred certain income.