Sunday 25 February 2018

Details of Dunne's family law cases to stay secret after court agreement

Sean Dunne and Gayle Killilea
Sean Dunne and Gayle Killilea
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A US court official will examine around 100 boxes of information relating to family law proceedings involving bust developer Sean Dunne and his two wives.

But details of what transpired in the cases, which concern Mr Dunne's current wife Gayle Killilea and ex-wife Jennifer Coyle, will remain secret following a court agreement.

The magnitude of the document archive relating to various sets of 'in camera' proceedings was disclosed by James Berman, a lawyer acting for Mr Dunne in court proceedings in Connecticut, where the former developer now lives.

He said the "matrimonial information" amounted to "approximately 100 banker boxes" dating back to 1998.

Mr Berman indicated Mr Dunne would not make any objection to court-appointed bankruptcy trustee Richard Coan getting access to the documents.

The move comes after Mr Dunne, who is involved in dual bankruptcy proceedings in the US and Ireland, faced considerable pressure to divulge information on financial settlements reached in Irish and Swiss family law courts.

Mr Coan is probing multi-million euro cash transfers made by Mr Dunne, who has debts of €695m, to Ms Killilea in the years before he went bust.

The trustee has also spent months seeking information about family law court cases, in particular focusing on Swiss proceedings during which Ms Killilea sued her husband for $44m (€32.5m).

This money is still owed to Ms Killilea, according to Mr Dunne.

The Carlow-born businessman has also confirmed a creditor listed as being owed €2.3m was his first wife, Ms Coyle.

Mr Dunne has previously said Ms Killilea sued him after he failed to honour a 2005 agreement to give her €100m. However, he declined to go into further detail publicly, citing Swiss court rules surrounding family cases.


His reluctance to provide more information prompted Mr Coan and one of Mr Dunne's creditors, Ulster Bank, to question whether he and Ms Killilea were still together.

Ms Killilea briefly commented to the press to confirm that they were still very much married.

In a court filing, Mr Berman denied claims Mr Dunne had impeded Mr Coan's investigation, saying his client had "testified for days and provided details of transfers going back to at least 2005".

He said "matrimonial information" had already been obtained by the official assignee in the Irish bankruptcy, Christopher Lehane, and a NAMA subsidiary, following High Court orders here.

Mr Berman said there would be no objection from Mr Dunne to Mr Coan getting the information in the same way.

Irish Independent

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