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Art returned to Sean Dunne's wife and son

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Gayle Killilea pictured at the D4Stores in Jurys Hotel Ballsbridge.  Picture; GERRY MOONEY.  28/8/09

Gayle Killilea pictured at the D4Stores in Jurys Hotel Ballsbridge. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 28/8/09

Gayle Killilea pictured at the D4Stores in Jurys Hotel Ballsbridge. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 28/8/09

THE wife of developer Sean Dunne, and Mr Dunne's son, are to have two pieces of art seized during a raid on a house returned to them, the High Court has heard.

The two pieces, including a painting entitled King and Queen, had been at the centre of a dispute with the trustee administering Sean Dunne's Irish bankruptcy.

In November 2013, the house at Churchfield, Straffan, Co Kildare, was searched on foot of a warrant obtained by the official assignee in charge of Mr Dunne's bankruptcy in Ireland, Chris Lehane.

Seized

Various assets, including the two artworks, were seized by Mr Lehane's staff.

Mr Lehane's application for a warrant was brought under the Bankruptcy Act, which allows for a search and seizure where the official assignee has reason to believe that property of a bankrupt may be located in a house or other property which may not be owned by the bankrupt themselves.

Mr Dunne's wife, Gayle Killilea-Dunne and his son, John Dunne, asked the court to order the return of the art, which they said belonged to them.

They said the official assignee had no entitlement to them. Previously, counsel for Mr Lehane said he had no interest in any items that did not form part of the bankrupt's estate.

Mrs Dunne had claimed she is the owner of King and Queen by Daniel O'Neill, which was bought in 2011 for some €32,000.

John Dunne said he is the owner of piece of modern art which had been gifted to him on his 21st birthday by a friend.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern was informed by Gabriel Gavigan SC for both Gayle and John Dunne that issues concerning the ownership had been resolved.

The artworks are to be returned to the Dunnes, counsel said.

hnews@herald.ie


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