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Bust Dunne's wife plans €120k home gym and cinema

THE wife of bust developer Sean Dunne is planning on spending €120,000 on a new gym, cinema and wine cellar in the basement of her US home.

US planning files show that Gayle Killilea has secured permission to finish the basement of 22 Stillman Lane, with architect's drawings showing the "improvements" to the basement of her home.

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.

DIRECTOR

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 (€120,000).

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.

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.

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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 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 (€13,415) for supplies used in the development of the house.

Neither Ms Killilea nor Mr Dunne responded to queries.

hnews@herald.ie


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