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Three actions linked to luxury Walford house in D4 settled


Court cases: Seán Dunne’s Irish bankruptcy has been extended

Court cases: Seán Dunne’s Irish bankruptcy has been extended

Court cases: Seán Dunne’s Irish bankruptcy has been extended

A long-running legal row concerning the bankruptcy of businessman Seán Dunne and the proceeds of the sale of a house in Shrewsbury Road, Dublin, has been settled.

The High Court heard yesterday that following "sensitive discussions" since the matter was before the court last Friday, three separate actions related to the sale of 'Walford' had been settled on confidential terms.

Mr Justice Denis McDonald, after reading the terms of settlement, agreed to adjourn final orders for a week. The trial had been scheduled to take four weeks.

He said he was sure it had been quite difficult for the parties to have got to this point.

Bernard Dunleavy SC, for the official assignee handling Mr Dunne's Irish bankruptcy, earlier said the three sets of proceedings were settled and involved "a series of complex steps to be taken in other jurisdictions". He asked that it be adjourned for a week for the implementation of those proceedings and an application will then be made to strike out all the proceedings.

In his action, official assignee Chris Lehane sought to establish that Mr Dunne, who was declared bankrupt in 2013 both here and in the US, was connected with the sale of Walford for €14m to Yesreb Holdings.

John Dunne (32), a child of Mr Dunne's first marriage, is the owner of Yesreb.

Mr Lehane claimed Seán Dunne had an involvement with Yesreb and Walford must therefore still have had a connection to the family.

The Dunnes initially denied having any connection with Yesreb but later asserted it had been owned by John Dunne, having been gifted to him by Gayle Killilea, Seán's former second wife.

Seán Dunne paid a record €58m for Walford in 2005 at the height of the boom under a trust set up for Ms Killilea.

In 2016, Yesreb sold Walford for €14.25m to Celtic Trustees Ltd. Celtic is the sole trustee of the Merdon Trust and whose settlor is billionaire financier Dermot Desmond, and which was set up for the benefit of Mr Desmond's children.

The settlement came after Mr Justice McDonald was told on Friday that Seán Dunne, a witness but not a party to the High Court case, had separately initiated injunction proceedings in New York aimed at restraining John Dunne from using funds held by Yesreb.

Yesreb is the defendant in the Dublin case and a firm of which John Dunne has been described as a director, to settle the High Court proceedings.

Mr Lehane had sued Yesreb here in a bid to recover the proceeds of the sale for the benefit of the estate of Seán Dunne, whose Irish bankruptcy has been extended for 12 years over failure to co-operate with the official assignee.

Celtic Trustees was a notice party in that case.

In a second set of separate proceedings, Celtic, Mr Desmond and members of his family sued Mr Lehane and the Insolvency Service of Ireland over the alleged leaking of confidential material to a newspaper concerning an agreement to buy Walford.

In the third case, Celtic sued Mr Lehane, claiming it had good title to Walford.

All three cases are now settled.

Irish Independent