Dunne's 'lieutenant' steps down from 14 of developer's firms
Published 22/01/2010 | 05:00
SEAN Dunne's right-hand man Peter Halpenny (right) has resigned from the boards of 14 of the developer's companies.
The resignations are revealed in a raft of documents filed with the Companies' Office in both Ireland and the Isle of Man.
The documents show Mr Halpenny resigned on December 1, a week before the accounts for Mr Dunne's main holding company DCD Builders were signed off.
Those accounts revealed that DCD lost €270m in the year ended July 2008 and closed the period "dependent on continuing support from its bankers" who were owed €760m in July 2008.
Sources close to Mr Dunne last night praised Peter Halpenny describing him as thoroughly provisional and added that his departure was solely due to economic circumstances. It is understood that he will continue to work for Mr Dunne on a consultancy basis. Well-placed sources described Mr Halpenny as "Dunne's number two", a highly-regarded lieutenant who looked after the property side of Mr Dunne's empire.
"He's a real gentleman, a genuinely nice person and a very smart cookie," one said last night.
Companies' House records show Mr Halpenny has been on the board of DCD since 2006, and has sat on more than 30 Dunne-related boards over the years.
Aside from board duties, his most recent title was director of property and development at Mountbrook, one of Mr Dunne's largest property companies.
Mr Halpenny's December resignations include Mountbrook Holdings, Mountbrook Homes and Mountbrook Developments, as well as 10 other Irish companies.
Mr Halpenny has also resigned his board seat at Mountbrook Merrion Road Development Limited, the Isle of Man vehicle Mr Dunne said he set up "for privacy reasons".
A Clontarf-dweller, Mr Halpenny has kept a low profile during his stint with Sean Dunne.
The one exception was last November, when Mr Dunne became embroiled in a row with the managers of a luxury South African beach resort. The row turned public and Mr Halpenny was personally named in proceedings lodged in the South African High Court, while letters he had sent were cited in Irish media reports.
A posterboy for the Celtic Tiger era, Mr Dunne is one of the country's most prominent developers, creating his biggest splash by shelling out €379m to assemble a 10-acre patch of Ballsbridge land.