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Thursday 17 October 2019

Dunne gives $100 a month to charity despite $55m assets

Paul Melia and Orlaith Farrell Connecticut

BROKE developer Sean Dunne donates just €76 a month to charity, despite owning assets worth €55m.

Mr Dunne, who owes the taxpayer €185m, is filing for bankruptcy in the US.

Court filings submitted by the businessman show he has debts of $942m (€718m), assets of just $55.2m (€42.1m) and giving $100 (€76) a month to charity.

Mr Dunne and his second wife, former gossip columnist Gayle Killilea, have been living in the millionaires' enclave of Greenwich in Connecticut since his business empire began to fall apart three years ago.

Yesterday morning, the former 'Baron of Ballsbridge' looked relaxed in casual trousers and a linen jacket when he picked up a paper and made the short journey from his home to the picturesque High Street in Greenwich for ice cream.

The defiant developer remained tight-lipped about bankruptcy proceedings when approached by the Irish Independent.

He refused to answer questions about his lucrative pension pot, valued at $1m (€780,000), which he will be entitled to keep despite his indebtedness.

Last month, Mr Dunne filed for bankruptcy in the US after Ulster Bank indicated it planned to have him declared bankrupt in Ireland over unpaid debts of €164m.

Disastrous

It was one of the main lenders in his disastrous bid to redevelop the Jury's and Berkerley Court hotel sites in Dublin 4, with the seven-acre site costing €379m in 2005 – a record price at the time.

Some $280m (€213m) of the loans are secured against property in Wicklow, Ballsbridge, Cork, and Kilcock in Co Kildare. The rest of the debts are unsecured.

The filings also reveal the monthly outgoings of Mr Dunne, which leaves him with just $196.33 – less than €150 a month – after everything is paid. They include $600 (€457) on food, monthly rent of $3,600 (€2,742), another $1,000 (€762) on cable television and $500 on transport, or €381. He also spends $600 (€457) on clothing, and $270 (€205) on laundry.

He also spends $500 (€381) on recreation, including clubs, magazines and entertainment, and gives $100 (€76) a month to charity. He is due to meet his creditors for the first time since filing for bankruptcy at a meeting in New Haven, Connecticut, on Wednesday.

The 58-year-old recently stated that although he regretted any involvement he had in "making life difficult financially for any Irish resident", he had paid more than €350m in taxes to the Exchequer and considered his "debt to the Irish state to be cleared".

Irish Independent

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