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Gayle Killilea tries to block NAMA inquiry into her property deals

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Ms Killilea is taking legal moves to block NAMA from getting access to records held by high-end property dealers Sotheby's International Realty.

Ms Killilea is taking legal moves to block NAMA from getting access to records held by high-end property dealers Sotheby's International Realty.

Ms Killilea is taking legal moves to block NAMA from getting access to records held by high-end property dealers Sotheby's International Realty.

SOCIALITE-turned-developer Gayle Killilea, has gone to court in an attempt to stop NAMA delving into her US property dealings.

Ms Killilea is taking legal moves to block NAMA from getting access to records held by high-end property dealers Sotheby's International Realty.

She and her developer husband Sean Dunne set up a home in the millionaire's enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut, two years ago.

NAMA claims it has identified four property deals linked to Ms Killilea and her husband -- one in Geneva, Switzerland and three in Greenwich.

But the 'toxic bank' claims she did not have the means to pay for the expensive properties.

And it wants the Connecticut Superior Court to order the seizure of assets.

In recent court filings, NAMA claimed Mr Dunne and his wife continue to live a lavish lifestyle, despite his huge debts.

NAMA alleged the couple were renting a mansion for $17,500 (€12,600) a month on Field Point Road in Greenwich.

The property includes an indoor swimming pool, tennis court, two acres of ornamental gardens, billiards and piano rooms.

Sotheby's International Realty -- an offshoot of the famous auction house -- acts as a broker in exclusive property transactions around the globe.

The records sought by NAMA from Sotheby's relate to millions of dollars worth of house sales involving Ms Killilea.

The former newspaper gossip columnist has reinvented herself as a property developer since moving Stateside two years ago.

NAMA alleges money originally made by Mr Dunne was channelled through his wife to pay for a series of deals in the US and Switzerland.

Three of the properties identified by NAMA in court papers sold for a combined total of €5.2m more than they were originally bought for.

NAMA claims these deals netted the Dunnes millions, while Mr Dunne's debts at home went unpaid.

Ambitious

Mr Dunne, dubbed the Baron of Ballsbridge for his ambitious plans to develop the upmarket Dublin suburb, owes NAMA €185m. He has denied the allegations.

His wife, who does not have any loans in NAMA, also disputes the claims.

Court papers seen by the Irish Independent reveal a US subsidiary of NAMA, called National Asset Loan Management Ltd, served a subpoena on Sotheby's last month.

It wants Sotheby's to produce documents relating to property deals involving Ms Killilea, her husband, their lawyers and a number of related companies.

However, Ms Killilea has claimed in court papers that these dealings contain "confidential information" and are protected from disclosure.

Her lawyers say Sotheby's signed a confidentiality agreement, prohibiting them from disclosing details of assets, liabilities, income, expenses or motivations which may have emerged in the course of various land deals.

She is now seeking an order from a judge to stop NAMA getting its hands on the records.

The legal row is part of a case being taken by the NAMA subsidiary against the Dunnes in the Connecticut Superior Court next month.

The couple hit local headlines soon after decamping to Greenwich when the redevelopment of a site brought a chorus of objections from neighbours.

Mr Dunne travels back from the US regularly and has been seen in Dublin in recent weeks. He is often seen attending Leinster or Ireland rugby matches and dining at the Unicorn restaurant. His son Stephen married Nivek Begley in May. The couple had their reception at the K Club, where Mr Dunne owns a home.

Until recently the Dunnes stayed in their family suite in the old Berkeley Court Hotel when they were in Dublin, but they have had to vacate this.

The hotel, now known as the Clyde Court, is managed by the Dalata Hotel group on behalf of a syndicate of banks.

Irish Independent