| -2°C Dublin

GAYLE'S NOW GOT MILLIONS OF REASONS TO FEEL SORRYPOOR THINGS: Sean Dunne (right) said he gave wife Gayle Killilea €100m

I'VE got Gayle Killilea wrong all these years.

For so long bemoaning her fabulous wealth, having seemingly failed to do much work to account for it, the source of her fortune came to light just before Christmas when her husband, Sean Dunne, revealed during his bankruptcy hearing that he gave her €100m in 2005 in return for her "love and affection". And ironing a few of his shirts.

But all is not what it seemed, as the continuing hearings have obliged Dunne to reveal further details of his wife's very singular financial matters which have cast a new light on poor, misunderstood Gayle.


The first €60m of that settlement was given to her as cash in order to buy the now infamous home Walford, in Dublin's Shrewsbury Road, a house which for years Sean has vehemently denied having owned. Tragically for Gayle, he bought it for her at the top of the market, and last year it was sold on for €15m, meaning Gayle lost €45m of her hard-earned inheritance.

But that's not the most heart-wrenching aspect of this tale. Because Dunne has also had to admit that, by 2010, he couldn't afford to give Gayle the remaining €40m he owed her, resulting in his wife taking legal action against him. The way you do.

And in revealing that she ultimately settled for €15m, it means that another €25m of her €100m, for which she had worked so hard, went up in smoke.

We can rage against the unbridled greed and ego that saw Dunne lose everything in buying the Jurys Hotel site in Ballsbridge for €375m. We can rage at his ongoing evasiveness and arrogance as he tries to avoid coming clean to those he owes money to. And we can rage against the fact that, as usual, it is the taxpayer who will pick up the cost of this unholy mess as Dunne continues to live the high life in the US.

But one thing should never be forgotten. There is one person who has suffered more than us all, a woman who gave up her secure, well-paid job as a gossip columnist in Dublin to take a punt on marriage with a middle-aged property developer. All she got in return was the promise of €100m, €60m of which she never saw.

Through cruel fate and damned recklessness on her husband's part, she's down to her last €40m.

Poor Gayle Killilea.