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Wife of bankrupt Dunne plans $150,000 gym and cinema upgrade to home

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Gayle Killilea pictured at the D4Stores in Jurys Hotel Ballsbridge.  Picture; GERRY MOONEY.  28/8/09

Gayle Killilea pictured at the D4Stores in Jurys Hotel Ballsbridge. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 28/8/09

Sean  Dunne enters his Greenwich, Conn. new home at 22 Stillman Lane Sunday May 5, 2013. Dunne has asked for a million dollar pension as part of bankruptcy claims in New Haven, Conn bankruptcy court. 

(Photo/Douglas Healey).

Sean Dunne enters his Greenwich, Conn. new home at 22 Stillman Lane Sunday May 5, 2013. Dunne has asked for a million dollar pension as part of bankruptcy claims in New Haven, Conn bankruptcy court. (Photo/Douglas Healey).

Greenwich Conn. building permit records for 22 Stillman Lane May 16, 2013, owner Wall LLC .(Photo/Douglas Healey).

Greenwich Conn. building permit records for 22 Stillman Lane May 16, 2013, owner Wall LLC .(Photo/Douglas Healey).

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Gayle Killilea pictured at the D4Stores in Jurys Hotel Ballsbridge. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 28/8/09

THE wife of bust developer Sean Dunne is planning $154,000 (€120,000) worth of improvements to the basement of her new US mansion, the Irish Independent can reveal.

US planning files show how Gayle Killilea has secured permission to finish the basement of 22 Stillman Lane, with architect's drawings showing a cinema, wine cellar, gym and sauna among other rooms.

Meanwhile, a chain of DIY stores is pursuing $17,000 (€13,200) in allegedly unpaid bills for supplies used in work carried out on the same property in recent months.

The Dunnes are believed to have moved into the house in Greenwich, Connecticut, at the end of March, shortly before Mr Dunne filed for bankruptcy with debts of more than $940m (€730m).

The planning application, described simply as "finish basement" in Ms Killilea's filing with town authorities, was submitted just over a week later. The plans were approved on April 26.

Ms Killilea's application notes that the house is owned by a company where she is the sole director – Wahl LLC – and estimates that the work will cost $154,000.

The property is one of three at the centre of NAMA's efforts to pursue Mr Dunne over a €185m High Court judgment it secured against him last year due to his debts with bailed-out banks in Ireland.

NAMA claims that Ms Killilea made a series of property deals, including the purchase of 22 Stillman Lane, with funds fraudulently transferred from her husband.

The couple deny the allegations, insisting that Mr Dunne has no financial involvement in the deals.

Separately, lawyers for Ulster Bank have applied to the US courts seeking to intervene in Mr Dunne's bankruptcy application.

The bank wants the developer declared bankrupt in Ireland and said his filing in the US was the culmination of "extraordinary efforts" to "avoid the application of Irish law to an Irish national with respect to Irish debts and Irish assets".

It said that just two of his creditors are located in the US. They added that his application for bankruptcy in the US last March was an attempt to avoid the effects of Irish proceedings initiated six weeks previously.

The bank secured a judgment of €164m against the Co Carlow developer in the High Court in Dublin last year. Dublin City Council has also revealed it is owed €330,000 in unpaid commercial rates by a company he controlled called Mountbrook Riverside, which has since been dissolved.

The Stillman Lane house was originally bought for $1.5m (€1.1m) in 2011 by a law firm, Heagney, Lennon and Slane, acting as trustees. It was sold to Wahl LLC later that year for $1.

Company filings from January this year name Gayle Killilea-Dunne as Wahl LLC's only director, with lawyer John Slane's name crossed out.

The most recent valuation of the colonial-style property by tax assessors in Greenwich has estimated its market value at $2.2m (€1.7m).

Another of Ms Killilea's companies, Mountbrook USA LLC, is being pursued by DIY chain Ring's End Inc over a sum of $17,258.04 for supplies used in the development of the house.

US land records show that the president of company, David M Campbell, registered a mechanic's lien on 22 Stillman Lane on April 24 in relation to builders' supplies provided between January and March this year.

PAYMENT

Ring's End Inc, based in the neighbouring town of Darien, wouldn't comment on the individual case but confirmed steps had been taken to secure payment against the property.

Neither Ms Killilea nor Mr Dunne responded to queries about the planning application and questions relating to the lien registered on the property, including if they disputed the allegedly unpaid sum.

They did not reply to emails sent to their personal addresses and Ms Killilea did not answer her mobile phone or respond to text messages and voice mails left by the Irish Independent.

The NAMA case in the Connecticut Superior Court is on hold due to Mr Dunne's bankruptcy petition.

Irish Independent