Tuesday 26 September 2017

Partner of slain gangster Eamon 'The Don' Dunne challenges €250k insurance payout refusal

Partner asked if Dunne had told a doctor he had been drinking eight cans a night, had been snorting cocaine, had been feeling depressed and was keen for a psychiatric referral

Aodhan O'Faolain

THE partner of slain gangster Eamon Dunne is suing over Irish Life's refusal to pay her €250,000 on a life policy the couple took out two years before his death.

The High Court action has been brought by Georgia Saunders over a policy she and Dunne entered into in 2008.

Dunne was murdered in April 2010 while attending a birthday party in a pub Cabra.

At the time of his death, he was on bail and awaiting trial for armed robbery. 

Dunne had been linked to approximately a dozen gangland murders.

In her action, Ms Saunders, who lives in the Netherlands, seeks an order that she is entitled to a payment from Irish Life on foot of the contract of insurance. 

She has also sought an order directing the insurer to specifically perform the contract of insurance which the court heard is worth €250,000.

Irish Life Assurance Plc opposes the action.

It says it declined to pay out on grounds including there was a failure to disclose certain relevant material during the on-line application made by the couple.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan heard argument from lawyers in relation to a pre-trial matter on Wednesday.

Mairead McKenna Bl, for Irish Life, said that as part their defence they had sought answers to certain questions from Ms Saunders. 

The questions relate to visits made by Dunne to various doctors from 2001 to 2006.

Irish Life wants to known if Dunne's doctors noted him as being on various medications to deal with sleep problems and anxiety.

Ms Saunders has also been asked if Dunne had told a doctor he had been drinking eight cans a night, had been snorting cocaine, had been feeling depressed and was keen for a psychiatric referral. 

In the application form, Dunne had stated he did not suffer from a nervous disorder, had not suffered from or had treatment for any illness for a period of five years, and did not take drugs other than for medical purposes.

Ms Saunders had not given the answers to the requests, the court heard.

Due to the refusal, the insurer was seeking permission from the court to issue a number formal questions to Ms Saunders.

Counsel said if the information was provided it would save on court time and legal costs.

The application was opposed on grounds including that the information was not necessary and was oppressive.

Information was being sought relating to medical information which Ms Saunders had no knowledge of, it was claimed.

Ms Saunders commenced her relationship with Dunne in 2007, the court heard.

Mr Justice Gilligan ruled Irish Life could issue the formal questions to Ms Saunders.

He did not accept that the questions put forward by Irish Life were vexatious or unnecessary.  If answered, it would save on time and expense, he said.

Replies should be provided within six weeks, he said.

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