Nama resumes pursuit of Dunne after legal move

Insolvent developer pulled an application to withdraw his US bankruptcy case

The National Asset Management Agency has resumed a legal bid to prevent the insolvent property developer Seán Dunne walking away from his debts following his decision last week to pull an application to withdraw his US bankruptcy case.

Lawyers for Nama subsidiary National Asset Loan Management asked the Connecticut bankruptcy court to schedule a hearing on outstanding matters on hold since August when Mr Dunne applied to dismiss his US bankruptcy case.

The Co Carlow developer filed for bankruptcy in the US, his home for the past four years, in March 2013 with debts of $942 million (€700 million). Four months later Nama brought a legal challenge against him in the bankruptcy courts to prevent him receiving a fresh financial start with a discharge from bankruptcy over the transfer of tens of millions of euro in cash and other assets to his wife, former gossip columnist Gayle Killilea Dunne.

Alleged fraudulent transfer

The Government’s bad debt agency claims that he fraudulently transferred money to his wife which he is using for US property deals.


This week’s action restarts the protracted action in which Nama and the Dunnes are fighting over the disclosure of information about his finances ahead of his trial, scheduled for next year, on whether he should be granted a discharge.

Nama’s lawyers asked the court in a filing on Tuesday to hear a motion from Ms Killilea Dunne and a number of her US companies for a protective order limiting information sought by the agency under third-party subpoenas to records only relating to her husband. The court was also asked to schedule a hearing for Nama’s motion to force Mr Dunne, who has also been adjudicated a bankruptcy in Ireland, to hand over records and to answer questions submitted by the agency’s lawyers on his finances.

The State loans agency has also asked the court to compel New York law firm D’Agostino, Levine, Landesman & Lederman to comply with a subpoena handing over information about a New York property, valued at $22 million, Mr Dunne’s son John and Ms Killilea Dunne are developing in the Soho area of Manhattan through a US company.

The court was asked to schedule the hearing on December 3rd.

Bankruptcy judge Alan Shiff was considering the appointment of a "discovery neutral", an independent party to act as mediator between the sides, during the summer when Mr Dunne submitted his motion to dismiss his bankruptcy case, putting Nama's legal challenge on hold.

The agency, which has a judgment of €185 million against Mr Dunne, is being supported in its application to block his discharge from bankruptcy by another creditor, Ulster Bank, and the court-appointed officer, trustee Richard Coan, who is overseeing the bankruptcy case.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times