Double Standards: The Tale Of Sean Dunne


Up until a few months back, the only business-trader this correspondent heard of negotiating deals while still bankrupt was Del ‘Boy’ Trotter; when he convinced Sid, the manager of the Nag’s Head, & Denzil, the owner of an artic-truck into a bulk-buying booze-run to Calais (while still insolvent due to bad investments in the Central American markets).

Your correspondent heard of another business-man recently negotiating a deal while still bankrupt, namely the property developer Sean Dunne; who helped convince the seller of 74 Grand Street, Soho, Manhattan to trade it for €3.6 million (while still insolvent due to bad investments in the Irish market).

How Del ‘Boy’ financed the booze-run is a mystery, but how Sean funded the purchase of the Manhattan site isn’t. His wife Gayle Killilea paid for it.

Gayle had the means to procure this property by a written agreement she signed up to, with her husband, back in March 2005 stating she would receive €100 million from Sean for providing him with love and affection.

One can surmise, she was true to her word, as Sean dispensed €60 million to her later that same year, which she used to purchase a property on Shrewsbury Road, Dublin 4.

One can further conjecture that Gayle kept to her promise (supplying Sean with love and affection) in the subsequent years, by Sean’s response to a legal action she took against him to obtain the balance owed, on the agreement (€31 million), at a Swiss court in 2010. He did not contest it.

Sean later clarified to Tom Curran (representing NAMA at his U.S. bankruptcy proceedings) why he didn’t contest this legal action, in answer to a question about whether it unusual for a wife to sue her husband.

Sean replied that he could not account for other people’s actions (wife), but when he owes money he doesn’t contest it.

This accomplished agreement contrasts sharply with another, Sean signed up to, in the summer of 2005 with Ulster Bank. That agreement stated Sean would receive €259 million from them for providing future interest-added repayments back to Ulster Bank.

One can surmise, from actions taken in the following years by Ulster Bank that they felt Sean did not hold up his end of the bargain. The evidence that Sean didn’t keep to his promise (of providing future interest-added repayments) can be deduced by Ulster Bank’s action in January 2012 of demanding full repayment of the €259 million, and their subsequent action in February 2013 of applying to the Irish High Court to make Sean bankrupt.

One can also conjecture, from actions taken by Sean after being declared bankrupt (in July 2013), that he also felt Ulster Bank was equally, not holding up their end of the bargain.  The evidence to display Sean’s belief that they didn’t keep to their promise (of supplying him with €259 million) was he contested the declaration of being made bankrupt by Ulster Bank.

We know (from what he said to Tom Curran) that Sean only accounts for his own actions (cannot account for other peoples); we also know that Sean would only contest a legal action by people he does not owe to (doesn’t contest legal actions by people he owes).

Unfortunately for Sean the appeal court judge ruled that Ulster Bank had not let down their end (supplying €259 million) and called him to account for his end (providing future interest-added repayments) which he had not kept up.

Image courtesy of RTE

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