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Contempt proceedings against developer Sean Dunne adjourned

The application is the latest in a long running battle between the businessman and bankruptcy officials.

Sean Dunne in 2008.
Sean Dunne in 2008.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE HIGH COURT has adjourned an application that could result in the developer and businessman Sean Dunne being jailed for alleged contempt of court.

The Official Assignee (OA), Chris Lehane, who is the official in charge of Dunne’s bankruptcy claims that the Co Carlow born developer is not complying with an order to pay €7,000 monthly to increase the assets available for his creditors.

The order was made by Justice Caroline Costello in 2018, who directed that Dunne make the payment of €7,000 monthly, starting from 25 September 2018 and ending on 25 May 2021 next.

As a result of Dunne’s alleged failure to comply with Justice Costello’s order Lehane has brought a motion requiring that Dunne come before the court to answer his alleged failure to comply.

The matter was briefly mentioned before Justice Teresa Pilkington at the High Court today.

The court, following an application by Farrelly, deemed that Dunne had been served with the documents arising concerning the OA’s application to have the businessman brought before the court and answer the allegation of contempt.

Edward Farrelly SC for the OA told the court that Lehane “intends to press ahead” with the attachment and committal application against Dunne.

The court heard that it was anticipated that Dunne will oppose the OA’s application on the grounds that he his unable to may the €7,000 per month payments.

The judge also allowed legal firm OBH Partners, who had previously represented Dunne in his Irish bankruptcy proceedings, to come off record and cease representing the businessman.

The was no objection to that application, and the court was told that the former solicitors would provide e mail and home address of Dunne to the OA’s legal representatives.

The Judge adjourned the matter for two weeks to see if Dunne is to obtain new lawyers or if he will contest the contempt proceedings himself.

Dunne was not present in court today. However the court heard that he is seeking new legal representation.

The application is latest in what has been a long running battle between Dunne and bankruptcy officials in both Ireland and the United States.

Dunne was adjudicated bankrupt in 2013 on foot of an application by Ulster Bank after he had defaulted on some €164m loans.

That same year Dunne filed for bankruptcy in Connecticut in the United States when he claimed to have debts of $1 billion and assets of $55 million and a US bankruptcy trustee was appointed by a US court.

Dunne was due to exit his Irish bankruptcy in 2016.

However 2018 the High Court extended Dunne’s bankruptcy by 12 years after a judge deemed that he had no co-operated with the OA. Dunne opposed the proposed extension.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings.

About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

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