Seán Dunne not a ‘refugee’, says wife

Gayle Killilea Dunne emails reveal stress of move to US

Property developer Seán Dunne and his wife, Gayle Killilea. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Property developer Seán Dunne and his wife, Gayle Killilea. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Sat, Jun 7, 2014, 01:00

Gayle Killilea Dunne, the wealthy wife of bankrupt developer Seán Dunne, reveals in private emails contained in her husband’s bankruptcy files the trauma of moving to a new life of luxury in the United States.

At the back of an October 2013 affidavit filed by Alan Stewart, a solicitor in the legal department of Nama, are several emails she sent to real estate advisers Sotheby’s International, which the State property agency obtained during discovery.

In a 2010 email to Ted Thaxter, an associate real estate broker with Sotheby, she complains about local media coverage which she says was publishing “scurrilous tabloid stories”, about her husband. She denies that her husband, who owes hundreds of millions to British and Irish banks, is involved in developing property on the east coast of the United States.

“He spends far more time in Ireland than the USA,” she says, “and has 200 employees and three hotels in Dublin. It is unbelievable they are describing him as a refugee who has left Ireland!

“As you may have noticed trying to get him to spend time in the US is proving difficult.”

Nama is owed €185 million by Dunne. It has objected to his debt discharge claiming he “knowingly and fraudulently made...false oaths” when filing for bankruptcy during a creditors meeting.