Dunne bankruptcy proceedings stayed at request of Ulster Bank

Bankruptcy proceedings against developer Sean Dunne have been adjourned at theHigh Court for three weeks.

The action was listed before Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne yesterday as part of parallel applications to have Mr Dunne adjudicated bankrupt in the US and Ireland.

Ms Justice Dunne granted Ulster Bank’s request to adjourn the matter to July 22nd by which date a ruling will have been given on Mr Dunne’s appeal against the decision to allow bankruptcy proceedings go on against him in Ireland and the US.

Mr Dunne, now living in Greenwich, Connecticut, has filed for bankruptcy there. He claims to have debts of $1 billion and assets of $55 million.

Ulster Bank and the National Asset Management Agency want him adjudicated bankrupt by the Irish courts as the vast bulk of his assets and creditors are here. Last month, the American court-appointed trustee managing Mr Dunne’s US bankruptcy supported an application by Ulster Bank – which has a €164 million judgment against the developer – to have him adjudicated bankrupt in parallel proceedings in Ireland.

The trustee, Richard Coan, ruled parallel proceedings would benefit Mr Dunne’s creditors as the vast majority of his properties are in Ireland, but Mr Dunne has appealed this.

During a brief mention of the Irish proceedings to Ms Justice Dunne, Lyndon MacCann, for Ulster Bank, said to serve the Irish bankruptcy proceedings on Mr Dunne a stay granted as part of Mr Dunne’s appeal against Mr Coan’s ruling needs to be lifted. A ruling on that appeal was due shortly, he said.

The judge agreed to give the bank’s petition seeking to have Mr Dunne adjudicated a bankrupt a new return date of July 22nd.

Ms Justice Dunne was also told separate bankruptcy proceedings against retired solicitor Brian O’Donnell and his wife will go ahead this month.

Bank of Ireland, which has a judgment of €71 million against the couple, was ready to proceed with its application on July 15th, said Bernard Dunleavy, for the bank.

The couple had sought to be adjudicated bankrupt in England but their application was denied and London’s civil appeal court last week dismissed their appeal against that ruling.