Facts on Seán Dunne bankruptcy not new, court told

No basis for developers’ arguments that there could not be a bankruptcy of him in Ireland and US, counsel says

Counsel for Seán Dunne, above,  argued the High Court should find there was no legal basis under which the official assignee in bankruptcy here could agree a protocol with a US trustee in bankruptcy allowing bankruptcies proceed in both jurisdictions. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Counsel for Seán Dunne, above, argued the High Court should find there was no legal basis under which the official assignee in bankruptcy here could agree a protocol with a US trustee in bankruptcy allowing bankruptcies proceed in both jurisdictions. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 11:21


Developer Seán Dunne has advanced no grounds for overturning his Irish bankruptcy, Ulster Bank argued before the High Court yesterday.

The National Assets Management Agency supports the bank’s arguments, Mr Justice Brian McGovern was told.

Lyndon Mac Cann SC, for the bank, said there was no basis for arguments by Mr Dunne that there could not be a bankruptcy of him in both Ireland and the US. Mr Dunne had produced no new facts justifying the bankruptcy being overturned, he said.

Counsel for Mr Dunne argued the High Court should find there was no legal basis under which the official assignee in bankruptcy here could agree a protocol with a US trustee in bankruptcy allowing bankruptcies proceed in both jurisdictions.


Reserved judgment
Having heard final arguments, the judge reserved judgment on the application by Mr Dunne, now living in Connecticut, to overturn a decision of the Irish High Court last July adjudicating him bankrupt here.

The Irish bankruptcy proceedings were initiated by Ulster Bank in February over default on loans for some €161 million issued to buy properties in Dublin. Mr Dunne filed for bankruptcy in the US the following month when he claimed to have debts of $1 billion and assets of $55 million.

Following a later application by Ulster Bank, the US court appointed trustee managing Mr Dunne’s US bankruptcy ruled that parallel proceedings would benefit Mr Dunne’s creditors as the vast majority of his properties are in Ireland.

The 59-year-old businessman insists he is domiciled in the US and claims he expects to remain and to work there into his seventies. Ulster Bank disputes Mr Dunne’s claims he has abandoned Ireland in favour of the US.

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