US court allows Nama to seize Dunne land

Court hearing paves the way for eventual sale of Cellbridge land

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) was granted permission by a US court to take control of 67 acres of land at Celbridge, Co Kildare, owned by bankrupt property developer Seán Dunne.

The State loans agency sought relief from the automatic stay granting Mr Dunne court protection from his creditors to take control of the land, which is now worth just €812,000 but is securing Nama debt of €65 million.

The Connecticut bankruptcy court granted the State agency permission to enforce its interest in the property at a court hearing in the US yesterday, paving the way for its eventual sale.

Last month the US trustee managing Mr Dunne's bankruptcy estate delayed Nama's application to seize control of the land, pending the view of the official assignee, the Irish court official managing the Co Carlow developer's bankruptcy in Ireland, on whether the agency had a valid lien on the property.


Nama's motion ultimately went unopposed yesterday and the agency is now able to seize the property on the back of loans of €65 million advanced on the land by the Irish Nationwide Building Society.

The now-nationalised building society loaned the money to Cork company O’Flynn Construction which originally planned to develop the property at Oldtown, Celbridge.

O’Flynn in turned loaned the money to Mr Dunne. The project did not proceed and Nama took over the loan from Irish Nationwide.

Mr Dunne has been declared bankrupt in the United States and Ireland, owing debts of more than €700 million.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times