Gayle Killilea ‘is legally separated’ from bankrupt Seán Dunne

She also tells court she received no benefit from €14m sale of house

Gayle Killilea leaves the Four Courts on Tuesday, May 23rd. She told the court she is separated from her bankrupt developer husband Sean Dunne.

Gayle Killilea leaves the Four Courts on Tuesday, May 23rd. She told the court she is separated from her bankrupt developer husband Sean Dunne.


Gayle Killilea has legally separated from her bankrupt developer husband Sean Dunne and has not received any benefit from the €14 million sale of a house on Dublin’s Shrewsbury Road, the High Court has been told.

Ms Killilea said in an affidavit she is a businesswoman in her own right and Mr Dunne owes her, and her children, a lot of money.

She says she has produced evidence to show Mr Dunne transferred ownership of “Walford”, Shrewsbury Road to her in 2005 long before he was declared bankrupt in 2013 over default on some €164 million in loans from Ulster Bank.

Ms Killilea believes the likely beneficiary of the sale of Walford last year is John Dunne, her stepson and Sean’s son from his first marriage. It was sold for €14.2 million by a Cypriot-registered company, Yesreb, to Celtic Trustees which is held in a family trust whose settlor is financier Dermot Desmond.

Ms Killilea is challenging the basis for an injunction preventing her reducing her assets below €50 million.


That injunction was obtained by Chris Lehane, the official overseeing Sean Dunne’s bankruptcy, arising from his concerns there is a scheme by the couple to put Mr Dunne’s assets beyond the reach of his creditors.

Ms Killilea wants to cross-examine Mr Lehane about the evidence on foot of which he got the injunction. She says Mr Lehane did not substantiate the grounds for it and was reckless in allegedly not providing evidence for matters which he purported to be beliefs or facts.

Mr Lehane denies her claims.

The court heard some of the evidence Mr Lehane obtained for his application came from a search on a house in the K-Club in Kildare in 2007. A handwritten “letter of wishes” was found which was signed by Mr Dunne, Ms Killilea and John Dunne in which Sean Dunne said he “regarded himself as the owner of Walford”.

On Tuesday, Alan Doherty SC, for Ms Killilea, said there were several matters, including that letter, about which his client wanted to challenge Mr Lehane if the court permitted his cross-examination.

Some of the evidence he obtained came from witnesses who gave evidence as part of bankruptcy proceedings by Mr Lehane against Mr Dunne and fair procedures meant Ms Killilea must be entitled to clarify the evidence of those witnesses as part of the cross-examination, counsel said.

Mr Doherty argued some statements by Mr Lehane in his affidavit for this matter involved a “gross misstatement of facts”.

He said a cross-examination of Mr Lehane would deal with a lot of these issues, including claims Mr Dunne gifted some €100 million at a time when he was insolvent. Ms Killilea would produce an expert to say this was not correct and Mr Dunne was solvent.


Just before Ms Killilea’s affidavit was opened to the court, Ms Justice Caroline Costello asked why her address was not included in that document, as that was standard procedure and part of the constitutional requirement that justice be administered in public.

The court heard earlier Ms Killilea had given an address at Stillman Lane, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA.

Mr Lehane said she was not living there and the house was empty of furniture and up for sale.

Mr Doherty said her address was in a sealed envelope and this was for reasons including his client had complained about intrusions on the privacy of herself and her family, including being photographed going to Mass.

Her current address was written on a sheet of paper and handed to the judge.

In her replying affidavit to Mr Lehane, Ms Killilea complained the Irish freezing proceedings were an abuse of process as a similar freezing order had been sought in the US in 2012 by Nama but was refused.

Mr Lehane sought the injunction on the basis Ulster Bank had undertaken to pay any damages should the full action against Ms Killilea be unsuccessful, the court heard.

She said she was judicially separated in 2010 and has suffered abuse, harassment and intimidation which has had an effect on her well-being.

She said neither she nor Sean Dunne own the Cypriot company, Yesreb, which had sold Walford, as Mr Lehane had claimed.

The case continues.