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Seán Dunne injunction against son over sale of Ireland's most expensive home


Sean Dunne. Picture: Collins

Sean Dunne. Picture: Collins


Sean Dunne. Picture: Collins

Bankrupt developer Seán Dunne is seeking to stop his son John from using the funds of a Cypriot company to settle a legal battle linked to the sale of Ireland's most expensive home.

John Dunne is a director of Yesreb Holdings, which sold Walford on Dublin's Shrewsbury Road to a trust set up by financier Dermot Desmond's children in 2016.

Yesreb is being sued by Seán Dunne's Irish bankruptcy trustee, who is seeking to recover assets for the businessman's creditors.

Official assignee in bankruptcy Chris Lehane alleges Seán Dunne had an involvement with Yesreb, which received €14.25m for the sale of Walford to the Desmond trust.

Prior to being owned by Yesreb, the property was bought by Seán Dunne for his then wife Gayle Killilea for a record €57.9m in 2005.

The official assignee's action is set to begin in the High Court on Wednesday.

But it has now emerged the case has been complicated by injunction proceedings Seán Dunne has initiated in New York against his son.

The High Court heard the US proceedings are aimed at restraining John Dunne from using Yesreb's funds to settle the case.

Seán Dunne claims the funds at issue belong to his minor children and are owned by a trust for those children.

The Dunnes initially denied having any connection with Yesreb but later asserted it had been owned by John Dunne.

Yesterday, one motion by Yesreb seeking some €553,000 out of monies held in an escrow account for the purpose of paying legal fees was adjourned to Tuesday.

A second application, by Mr Lehane and the Desmond trust, Celtic Trustees Ltd, to have certain expert evidence admitted, was not pursued.

Eoin McCullough SC, for Yesreb, said an affidavit provided by Jennifer Fay, solicitor for Mr Lehane, had disclosed "surprising" developments.

In the affidavit, Ms Fay said she had been informed on Thursday night that Seán Dunne had initiated injunction proceedings in New York against John Dunne.

Mr McCullough said his side had hoped to have an affidavit from John Dunne yesterday but it now appeared it had been overtaken by events.

Bernard Dunleavy SC, for Mr Lehane, said the result of the payment out application by Yesreb may have a "significant bearing" on the case.

Discussions are ongoing, he said. If matters are not resolved and the case opens on Wednesday, it is unclear who will give evidence for Yesreb.

It is also unclear whether Seán Dunne, Gayle Killilea and others will come to court to give evidence, he said.

Mr Justice Denis McDonald made various directions and returned the matter to next week.

Irish Independent