Dunne cannot conceive of returning to live in Ireland, court hears

Bankrupt developer Seán Dunne “cannot currently conceive” of any circumstances where he would return to Ireland and instead hopes to work in the US “into his 70s”, he told the High Court.

Mr Dunne, aged 59, said he hopes, following his discharge from US bankruptcy, to work in business in the US. He intends to stay in the US “most likely for the remainder of my life”.

Of his six children from two marriages, five live in the US and one in Ireland, he said in affidavits.

Mr Dunne made the affidavits for proceedings in which he wants orders overturning a High Court decision last July granting Ulster Bank’s petition, support by Nama, to have him adjudicated bankrupt here arising from default on €161m loans made for properties in Dublin.

In opposing the application, Ulster Bank disputes Mr Dunne’s claims he has abandoned Ireland in favour of the US and contends his sworn statements fall well short of showing a clear intent not to return here.

Mr Dunne said he and his wife Gayle Killilea had decided about 2006 they would not live in Ireland and, from 2007, they lived in Paris, Geneva, and London before moving to the US in Aug 2010. They now live in Greenwich, Connecticut, with their three young children, he said.

Yesterday, Bill Shipsey, counsel for Mr Dunne, told Mr Justice Brian McGovern his client has no assets here that could be administered by the Irish official assignee who administers the estates of bankrupts.

There was no entitlement to adjudicate Mr Dunne bankrupt here last July as he had been made bankrupt in the US some months earlier, in March, he argued.

The hearing continues.


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