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How Sean Dunne could be declared bankrupt in Ireland... and in the US

A court ruling in the US is a blow to the former property developer who owes millions to Ulster Bank.

Sean Dunne in 2006
Sean Dunne in 2006
Image: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland

THE PROPERTY DEVELOPER Sean Dunne could now be declared bankrupt in Ireland in addition to the United States, where he is currently based, following a ruling by a court in Connecticut.

Bankruptcy judge Alan Shiff has granted a motion sought by one of Dunne’s main creditors Ulster Bank – and supported by the National Asset Management Agency – for bankruptcy proceedings to be brought in Ireland in addition to the US.

RTÉ News reports that having sided with the bank, a hearing will now take place in an Irish Court on 1 July to allow bankruptcy proceedings to be served on Dunne before negotiations between US and Irish authorities.

Carlow-native Dunne had sought bankruptcy in the US in March where the regime is less severe than in Ireland but the bank – to which he owes some €164 million – argued that most of Dunne’s debt is owed to Irish creditors.

In bankruptcy filings made in May, Dunne revealed liabilities of €718 million and assets of €42 million with his main creditors being Ulster Bank, NAMA, Certus – a company handling Bank of Scotland’s portfolio in Ireland – and O’Flynn Construction in Cork.

The bankruptcy filings revealed that Dunne has an average monthly income of €17,000 per month, €6,352 of which comes from Mountbrook USA, a company owned by his wife Gayle Killilea, where he works as a project manager.

Dunne hit headlines during the property boom when he oversaw the purchase of the Jury’s Doyle hotel site in Ballsbridge in Dublin 4 for some €379 million, an unprecedented amount for the seven acre site.

Attempts to redevelop site failed with An Bord Pleanála refusing planning permission for a 37-storey tower at the site in 2009 and as the property crash took hold of the country the site’s value decreased significantly.

Read: Bankrupt developer Sean Dunne reveals liabilities of €718 million

Read: Sean Dunne declares bankruptcy in US

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Hugh O'Connell

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