Seán Dunne says he is unable to make €5,000-a-month payment

Bankrupt property developer opposes High Court application for bankruptcy payment

Seán Dunne: transfers of €62 million to his wife, Gayle Killilea, were made when he was “solvent to the extent of hundreds of millions”. Photograph: Steve Miller.

Seán Dunne: transfers of €62 million to his wife, Gayle Killilea, were made when he was “solvent to the extent of hundreds of millions”. Photograph: Steve Miller.

 

The bankrupt property developer Seán Dunne has told the High Court he is not able to make a €5,000-a-month payment being sought by the official assignee.

All of his income is taken up with living expenses and professional bills and he is not in a position to contribute towards the cost of looking after his family, he told the court in an affidavit.

He said his net worth and future earnings were estimated at approximately €1.5 billion in 2007/2008 when he was moving to Switzerland.

Mr Dunne is contesting an application from the assignee, Chris Lehane, who administers Mr Dunne’s Irish bankruptcy, that the bankruptcy be extended due to alleged non-co-operation. The businessman’s Irish bankruptcy was scheduled to expire in July. A temporary extension has been granted and a hearing is pending on whether an extension, which could be for up to five years, should be granted.

Mr Dunne filed for bankrupcy in the US in March 2013 and was declared a bankrupt here in July 2013.

As well as opposing the extension, Mr Dunne said he was opposing Mr Lehane’s application for a €5,000-a-month bankruptcy payment.

‘Unnecessary burden’

“I am continually amassing legal bills in dealing with my dual bankruptcy and now seek an end to this unnecessary burden and a fresh start,” he said in the affidavit.

Mr Dunne was in the Four Courts on Monday when his case was discussed and adjourned to November 14th. The contents of his affidavit were not reported.

He said his income and expenses have been disclosed and that “as is evident, I am not in a position to pay the monthly sum sought by the OA or indeed any sum at present.”

It was not the case that he was not co-operating with Mr Lehane. He said he was in Ireland in February 2015 with his two sons, and attended the Ireland vs England rugby match at the Aviva Stadium, but he was not in a position to meet Mr Lehane during the visit, and did not believe Mr Lehane was in a position to meet him.

He arrived late on Friday, February 27th, 2015, and left on the Sunday immediately after the game.

Travel expenses

He said he travels for work and that Mountbrook USA LLC pays his travel expenses. He receives €1,000 a month from Irish company Amrakbo. His current creditors are owed appoximately €100,000.

He said transfers of approximately €62 million to his wife, Gayle Killilea, were agreed in 2005 and completed in 2008. At the time he was “solvent to the extent of hundreds of millions”. It was not the case that assets were moved in contemplation of bankruptcy.

The assignee and the US bankruptcy trustee “are not prepared to accept the facts but prefer their own opinion . . . in believing a story that appealed to them and choosing only to perceive the ‘facts’ that suited that story in an effort to vindicate their theory of what was in my mind . . . as far back as 2005”, he said.