US court decision on Dunne bankruptcy fate due
Decision could see Ulster Bank issue proceedings in Dublin as part of dual bankruptcy process
Seán Dunne and Gayle Killilea at their home in Ballsbridge in 2008. Photograph: Derek Speirs
Property developer Seán Dunne was last night due to hear whether his bid to avoid being made bankrupt in Ireland as well the US had been successful.
Judge Alan Shiff said he would issue a decision before the end of the day (US time) on whether Ulster Bank could issue bankruptcy proceedings in Dublin as part of a dual bankruptcy process.
At a hearing in Connecticut, Judge Shiff said there had been a question of urgency with regard to the case to accommodate parties that sought to appear before the Irish courts.
“We’ve been moving quickly in this matter and purposely so because of the matter that was filed in Ireland, and the claim by Mr [Henry] Baer [lawyer for Ulster Bank] and others that the Irish court intended to convene a hearing on July 1st . . .
“The best course is for me to finish up my end of what needs to be done and to decide whether or not to create a stay pending the appeal order entered.”
Judge Shiff also said he did not believe Gayle Killilea was a creditor in the case.
“Her husband, the debtor in this case, filed the petition. He filed schedules, he filed them under oath. He didn’t list her as a creditor. I believe that’s accurate. I should think that he would know if his wife was a creditor.
“It is a fact that she is not a creditor, whether or not at some future point in time she will be is not something this court can speculate.” The judge said Ms Killilea may file a claim or propose to be a creditor in the future, but that claim could be rejected.
Mr Dunne had asked the US Bankruptcy Court in Connecticut to stop Ulster Bank from initiating a parallel bankruptcy in Ireland, at least for the time being.
Two weeks ago, he then filed an appeal from the order allowing the bank to proceed with a parallel bankruptcy in Ireland.
He also filed papers for a stay pending appeal which, if granted, would block the bank from starting the Irish bankruptcy until the appeal is decided in the US.