Dunne owes €39 million from family law proceedings

Bankruptcy documents show developer accrued debts as a result of two court judgements between 2005 and 2009

Documents filed in a court in Connecticut show developer Sean Dunne owes debts totalling almost $50 million (€39 million) in “domestic support obligations” arising from two court judgements.   Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Documents filed in a court in Connecticut show developer Sean Dunne owes debts totalling almost $50 million (€39 million) in “domestic support obligations” arising from two court judgements. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Sat, May 4, 2013, 09:24

Bankrupt property developer Sean Dunne says he owes debts totalling almost $50 million (€39 million) in “domestic support obligations” arising from court judgments in family law proceedings dating back to 2005 and 2009.

The developer disclosed the debts in a wide-ranging disclosure of financial documents to a Connecticut court in the United States where he filed for bankruptcy at the end of March.

In records that he had to file with the court as part of his bankruptcy, Mr Dunne lists a $44 million debt relating to an “in camera” court judgment in 2005 in favour of creditor “A” whose address is listed at a Dublin law practice of John C Walsh & Co.

He owes a further $3.2 million to another creditor named “B” in a judgment from 2008, which he says is “disputed” and under appeal. A further $2.6 million is owing in legal costs to the same creditor whose address is listed at law firm LK Shields in Dublin.

The judgments including the identity of the creditors are subjected to the in-camera rule and “as such are ‘sealed,’” Mr Dunne bankruptcy filings stated.

“The debtor [Mr Dunne] has been advised by counsel that ‘nothing discussed in in-camera proceedings, including the outcome of the case, can be published’ as it would be contempt of court,” his filing says.

The documents state that inclusion of the judgments is “only a function of their arising in the family law context.”

Debts

The Co Carlow developer disclosed to the bankruptcy court that he has total liabilities of $942 million and assets of $55 million, including $40.7 million of property and $14 million other personal assets.

The court records show his monthly income is $22,000 and monthly outgoings are $21,800.

He is due to meet his creditors for the first time since filing for bankruptcy at a meeting in New Haven, Connecticut on Wednesday. He filed for bankruptcy in Connecticut where he lives with his second wife, Gayle Killilea.

Mr Dunne’s biggest creditor is Ulster Bank, which is owed $393 million, followed by the National Asset Management Agency with $334 million, Cork building firm O’Flynn Construction with $102 million and Certus, which manages the loans of the former Bank of Scotland (Ireland), with $32.3 million.

About $280 million of Mr Dunne’s debts to his lenders are secured on properties in Dublin, Charlesland near Greystones in Co Wicklow and in Kilcock in Co Kildare. The rest of the debts are unsecured.

About $3 million of the Certus debt has been sold on to a company called Risali which is linked to the private equity group Apollo Global Management.

Some $2.6 million of Mr Dunne’s debts relate to guarantees that he has given over his children’s borrowings.

The bulk of the debt owing to Nama, almost $192 million, relates to loans taken over by the State agency from Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, which acquired one of Mr Dunne’s biggest lenders, the nationalised Irish Nationwide Building Society.

Mr Dunne also owes the Irish state agency, the IDA, $140,000.

Exempt assets

Among the items Mr Dunne is claiming as exempt from creditors in the bankruptcy is his interest in the estate of his late father Thomas Dunne worth $12,798 and household furnishings at his former home on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin worth $10,000.

He has also sought to hold on to clothing worth $9,000; a watch, wedding band and cuff links worth $7,500; and books, pictures and sporting memorabilia worth $1,000.

Income

Mr Dunne says in the bankruptcy filings that he earned $706,000 in rental income in 2011, $177,000 in 2012 and $31,000 this year. He also made $76,000 from the sale of land in Portarlington, Co Laois in 2011.

He earned wages of $26,000 in 2011, $6,500 in 2012 and $5,000 this year as well as “other fee income” of $20,000 last year. He made $30,000 from the sale of a car in Dublin this year.

Assets

Mr Dunne said that he owned eight tickets at Twickenham, England’s rugby stadium, worth $12,800, eight tickets at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff worth $24,000 and two tickets at the Aviva stadium in Lansdowne Road worth $10,000.

Among the tickets remaining on his list of personal assets are two annual tickets at the Millennium Stadium expiring in 2024 valued at $5,000 and two tickets at Twickenham which Mr Dunne values at $1,439.

Among his personal property are two accounts at AIB which have been frozen by the bank containing $43,000 in one and $20,000 in the other.