Sean Dunne’s High Court application heard in private

Bankrupt businessman applied to vary order to pay €7,000 per month to creditors

In 2018, Sean Dunne was directed by the court to make payments of €7,000 monthly. Photograph: Collins Courts

In 2018, Sean Dunne was directed by the court to make payments of €7,000 monthly. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

An application by bankrupt businessman Sean Dunne to vary an order requiring him to pay €7,000 a month for the benefit of creditors in his Irish bankruptcy was heard in private at the High Court on Thursday.

The private hearing was sought by Edward Farrelly SC, for Mr Dunne’s Irish bankruptcy trustee, arising from matters referred to by Mr Dunne in a sworn affidavit.

Mr Dunne, representing himself, opposed the matter being heard in camera.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys ruled on Thursday afternoon the hearing would proceed in camera pending further order of the court.

Ms Justice Caroline Costello had in 2018 directed Mr Dunne to make payments of €7,000 monthly from September 25th 2018, ending on May 25th 2021. Mr Dunne’s Irish bankruptcy trustee, Official Assignee (OA) Chris Lehane, claims Mr Dunne has not complied with that bankruptcy payment order (BPO).

Contempt proceedings by the OA against the businessmen over the non-payment have been adjourned generally, pending the outcome of his application to vary the BPO.

Carlow-born Mr Dunne, now with an address in Surrey in England, in seeking for the BPO to be varied, previously told Mr Justice Humphreys he did not have the ability to pay it.

He also complained about undergoing a dual bankruptcy process here and in the US.

The application to vary is the latest development in a long-running battle between Mr Dunne and bankruptcy officials in both Ireland and the US.

Mr Dunne was adjudicated bankrupt here in 2013 on foot of an application by Ulster Bank after he defaulted on €164 million loans. That same year, he filed for bankruptcy in Connecticut in the US when he claimed to have debts of $1 billion (€825 million) and assets of $55 million, and a US bankruptcy trustee was appointed.

Mr Dunne was due to exit his Irish bankruptcy in 2016 but it was extended by 12 years in 2013 after Ms Justice Costello found he had not co-operated with the OA.