Tuesday 12 December 2017

Divorce not on cards for Sean Dunne and Gayle Killilea

Couple seek court hearing over alleged breach of orders covering family law case

Sean Dunne and Gayle Killilea.
Sean Dunne and Gayle Killilea.

RONALD QUINLAN Special Correspondent

SEAN Dunne and his wife, Gayle Killilea Dunne, are to seek a full US court hearing over alleged breaches of Irish High Court orders by Nama and the developer's US bankruptcy trustee. The orders cover Irish family law proceedings involving Mr Dunne.

News of the couple's intended move comes at the end of a tumultuous week in which their marital status was questioned by the trustee, Richard Coan, who referred to Gayle Killilea Dunne as Mr Dunne's "wife (or ex-wife)" in documents filed in the courts of Connecticut.

Contacted by the Sunday Independent and asked if she was still married to Sean Dunne, Gayle confirmed: "Yes I am." Ms Killilea Dunne made it clear that she would be making no further comment on her marriage.

The confusion surrounding the Dunnes' marital status appears to emanate from efforts by Mr Coan to gain sight of documents relating to the family law proceedings to which the Carlow-born developer is a party.

While Mr Dunne insists that he offered Mr Coan access to that information at his first creditors' meeting in June of last year on the basis that he could do so without breaching Irish family law, the trustee has only now applied for permission to the Connecticut courts to receive and examine it on those terms.

Chris Lehane, the official handling Mr Dunne's Irish bankruptcy, already has possession of the family law documents now being sought by Mr Coan and is inspecting their contents on the strictly confidential terms set down in the High Court ruling.

In his decision, the judge instructed both Nama and the trustee that the information was being provided to them on the condition that there would be no public dissemination of it at a meeting of Mr Dunne's creditors or any public forum without a further court order.

Despite that, lawyers for Mr Dunne noted in a US court filing that Mr Coan had "contrary to the order of the Irish High Court, attempted to question, and did question Mr Dunne in detail at the next session of the 341 [creditors' meeting] held on December 13, 2013, about matters covered by the in camera rule".

Asked for her response to the conduct of Nama and the trustee handling her husband's US bankruptcy, Gayle Killilea Dunne said: "I am very disappointed that Nama have chosen to breach this order issued by the Irish High Court and have continued to ask questions about family law issues in the US in a public forum, even though they have been specifically ordered not to do so.

"This has predictably led to a lot of misinformed reporting and a huge invasion of family privacy, the very things the 'in camera' rule, and indeed last December's judgement, are designed to protect. I think the US Trustee needs to stop focussing on other people's family lives and should focus on his own need to get a 'divorce' from Nama."

A spokesman for Nama declined to comment on Ms Killilea Dunne's claims.

Sunday Independent

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