Monday 18 December 2017

Killilea has split from Dunne and claims she got nothing from sale of mansion

Gayle Killilea leaving the Four Courts. Photo: Collins Courts
Gayle Killilea leaving the Four Courts. Photo: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

Gayle Killilea has separated from her bankrupt developer husband Sean Dunne and claims she has not received any benefit from the €14m sale of a house on Dublin's Shrewsbury Road.

Ms Killilea is a businesswoman in her own right and Mr Dunne owes her and her children a lot of money, she said in an affidavit to the High Court.

She said she has produced evidence to show Mr Dunne transferred ownership of 'Walford', on Shrewsbury Road, to her in 2005 long before he was declared bankrupt in 2013 over default on some €164m in loans to Ulster Bank.

However, Ms Killilea believes the likely beneficiary of the sale of Walford last year is John Dunne, her stepson and Sean's son from his first marriage. It was sold for €14.2m by a Cypriot-registered company, Yesreb, to Celtic Trustees which is held in a family trust whose settlor is financier Dermot Desmond.


Ms Killilea is challenging the basis for an injunction preventing her reducing her assets below €50m, because of an alleged scheme by the couple to put Mr Dunne's assets beyond the reach of his creditors.

Ms Killilea with husband Sean Dunne
Ms Killilea with husband Sean Dunne

Ms Killilea wants to cross-examine bankruptcy official assignee Chris Lehane over the evidence which was used to obtain the injunction freezing her assets.

She said Mr Lehane did not substantiate the grounds on which he got the freezing injunction, and was reckless as to how he did so by not providing evidence for matters which he purported to be beliefs or facts.

Mr Lehane denies her claims.

Ms Killilea has complained the Irish freezing proceedings were an abuse of process as a similar freezing order had been sought in the US in 2012 by Nama but was refused.

Mr Lehane sought the injunction on the basis that Ulster Bank had undertaken it would pay any damages should the full action against Ms Killilea be unsuccessful, the court heard.

Ms Killilea said she was judicially separated in 2010 and has suffered abuse, harassment and intimidation which has had an effect on her wellbeing.

She said neither she nor Sean Dunne owns the Cypriot company, Yesreb, which had sold Walford, as Mr Lehane had claimed.

The court heard some of the evidence Mr Lehane obtained for his case came from a search on a house in the K-Club in Kildare in 2007.

A handwritten "letter of wishes" was found, which was signed by Sean Dunne, Ms Killilea and John Dunne in which Sean Dunne said he "regarded himself as the owner of Walford".

Alan Doherty SC, for Ms Killilea, said there were several matters, including that letter of wishes, which his client wanted to challenge Mr Lehane on. The case continues.

Irish Independent

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