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Dunne fails in appeal against house search

DEVELOPER Sean Dunne has failed in a legal challenge to a warrant that allowed a search to be carried out of a house in the K-Club.

Mr Dunne has been declared bankrupt both here and in the US, where he now lives.

He asked the High Court to set aside a warrant granted to the official assignee in charge of Irish bankruptcy, Chris Lehane, allowing a search last November of a property at Churchfield, Straffan, Co Kildare.

Various assets, including works of art, were seized.

Mr Dunne says he is not the owner of the property, and that it is held in trust for his children by an Isle of Man-registered company called Traviata.

As well as seeking to have the warrant set aside, he asked the court for permission to cross-examine Mr Lehane in order to show that claims made to support the warrant were groundless.


Previously, the court heard Mr Dunne deny claims there was a "false wall" in the house.

He said the area in question was in fact a storage unit accessed from under the stairs in which the sound system for the property was located.

He also disputed that he was the owner of a safe found in an upstairs bedroom which contained what searchers believed may be the keys to another safe in the house.

Mr Lehane said the warrant was valid and opposed being cross-examined.

Mr Dunne's wife Gayle, his son John and Traviata, who supported the application to have Mr Lehane cross-examined, have made claims on some of the items seized, the court heard.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Brian McGovern found Mr Dunne had "shown no grounds on which the warrant is invalid or defective on its face". He also dismissed the application for Mr Lehane to be cross-examined.