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Tuesday 15 October 2019

Ulster Bank move against Sean Dunne dismissed as “lacking in commercial sense” by expert

Ronald Quinlan Special Correspondent

ULSTER Bank’s move to bring parallel bankruptcy proceedings against developer Sean Dunne in Ireland have been dismissed by a leading insolvency expert as “lacking in commercial sense” and “vindictive”.

“When it comes to banks things can become vindictive, particularly in cases where there has been such a breakdown in trust and where parties are believed to have acted in bad faith,” the Dublin-based insolvency practitioner said when asked for his views on Ulster Bank’s latest move in the case of the former ‘Baron of Ballsbridge’.

A spokeswoman for the Ulster Bank declined to make any comment on the bank’s desire to bring Irish proceedings against the developer who declared bankruptcy in the US State of Connecticut on March 29 last.

Defending his decision to go through the far speedier US process at the time, Mr Dunne wrote in the Sunday Independent saying: “I had not planned on filing for bankruptcy, I did not see much point as I have no assets left to distribute among the banks I owe money to.  Ulster Bank forced me into this position by applying to make me bankrupt in Ireland.”

Ulster Bank’s wish to have the Carlow-born developer declared bankrupt here in Ireland stems from a €164m debt he owes them on foot of personal guarantees he executed over loans relating to his plans for the redevelopment of the former Jury’s and Berkeley Court hotels in Ballsbridge.

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