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Michael O'Doherty: Go on, Gayle, let us know how you earned all those millions at the age of 36

With a publishing company to run, people often ask me why I spend so much time writing a newspaper column each week. And the answer is always the same -- I'm fabulously well paid to do so, as in fact are all Irish journalists. Millionaires, every one of us, courtesy of the exorbitant sums lavished on us by the benevolent owners of newspapers in this country.


After all, what else can explain the immense wealth that Gayle Killilea-Dunne has managed to accumulate in her own right by the tender age of 36, she whose job before she married property developer Sean Dunne was as a lowly newspaper hack?

Though she remains notoriously tight-lipped about her wealth and property interests -- in itself an ironic turnaround from someone whose news-paper jobs involved writing about people's private lives -- this much we can glean from Gayle's recent activities.

She may, or may not, be the owner of Dublin's most expensive house -- Walford on Shrewsbury Road -- bought for €56m back in 2005.


She may, or may not, be the owner of a €2m mansion in Connecticut, adjoining the rented home in which Gayle and Sean are currently living, though one local resident claims that Ms Dunne introduced herself as the owner to him, and the solicitor who is listed as a trustee on the property is a certain Philip Teplen.

This is the same Mr Teplen that Gayle has now begun legal action against, claiming that she gave him €500,000 which was to be used in a different property deal that she was planning in Chicago.

She subsequently changed her mind about that deal, but has been unable to get her money back, hence the lawsuit.

That's half a million dollars, cash, of her own money. At least there's no dispute about that.

It may well be no business of ours how, to quote a friend of the Dunnes who recently leapt to her defence, "anyone associated with a property developer spends their communion money".


It may well be that she looks back on the less than discreet start to her relationship with Sean, in which they celebrated their union with a €1.5m 12-day cruise on board Aristotle Onassis's yacht Christina O, about which Gayle allegedly commented, "if it was good enough for Jackie O, it's good enough for me", and has decided that such visible excesses are, in hindsight, a bit gauche.

How she earned the money in the first place, and how she's managed to be so prudent in saving it, may well be none of our business.

But please, Gayle, tell us anyway.

We're all dying to know...

Leave our addresses alone, please

Eight years ago, Dublin City Council made an arse of itself when it unveiled its new traffic signs for the capital, a baffling combination of letters and colours, with all area names removed, which no one could make head nor tail of.


This week, Communications Minister Eamon Ryan has gone back to what he does best -- finding solutions for non-existent problems.

Hot on the heels of his party's reduction in speed limits and introduction of electric car top-up points, Ryan's latest wheeze is new postal codes for every address in Ireland.

So instead of a city area, name and country, we'll get a code made up of letters and numbers -- much like the old proposed Dublin street signs. And in case you thought that wasn't impenetrable enough, Ryan favours them being in the Irish language, so Dublin will be represented by the letters 'BAC'.

Seriously, will someone please find something useful for the Greens to do before they finally get booted out of government?

Apprentice Michelle shows she's boss

PERHAPS the most poignant image of the week was that of the new Apprentice winner, Michelle Massey, turning up for her first day at work in Bill Cullen's garage in Swords.

Waiting to greet her was last year's winner, Steve Raynor, whose year-long contract as sales manager had come to an end.

And how were we sure that Steve's €100k-a-year deal with Bill was up? Well, he was pictured standing behind Michelle, with a bottle of spray cleaner and cloth in hand, shining a car's bonnet. "Steve who?", as Bill might have said...

Clueless Kenny has a shortage of ideas

AFTER decades of telling us politicians were there to serve the people, Enda Kenny has admitted he has no idea what the people want.

Why else would Fine Gael change their website to a forum for people to give their own ideas on how to fix Ireland problems? The predictably witless comments show how ludicrous this stunt is. One contributor says Ireland's biggest problem is "not having Enda Kenny in office"; Another thinks Fine Gael must "come to the state's rescue". Only one dared to go off message. "You're the politician. You tell US what has gone wrong and how you intend to fix it," rages another.

How long before it is quietly taken down?

Can I be called a bright young thing like Anna?

GORGEOUS TV3 presenter Anna Daly is on Image magazine's list of Bright Young Things -- 12 up-and-coming Irish women, sharing the spotlight with jockey Kate Harrington (21) and model Vogue Williams (24), among others.

A fully deserved accolade, except for one small detail. Last time I checked, Anna (pictured) was 33 -- does that, strictly speaking, still qualify her as a bright young thing? If so, any chance I can be included in the next men's list?