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Slain gangster Dunne's partner in court over €250k insurance snub

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Gangster Eamon Dunne was shot dead in a pub in 2010

Gangster Eamon Dunne was shot dead in a pub in 2010

Gangster Eamon Dunne was shot dead in a pub in 2010

Irish Life was entitled to refuse to pay €250,000 life insurance for murdered gangster Eamon Dunne over his failure to disclose drug and alcohol misuse, as well as depression when taking the policy out, the High Court has heard.

Dunne (42) was shot six times in the head and back in April 2010 while attending a party in a pub in Cabra, Dublin. He was linked to several gang murders, drug trafficking and was on bail awaiting trial shortly before his death for the robbery of a cash-in-transit van in Kildare.

He had taken out the Irish Life Insurance policy, costing €103-a-month, with his partner Georgina Saunders two years before his death.

Ms Saunders, of Lanesborough Avenue, Finglas, Dublin, claims Irish Life failed to make payment wrongfully and was in breach of the terms and conditions of the contract.

However, Irish Life denied the claims, saying non-disclosure of material facts about Dunne when the policy was taken out voided it.

These included that in 2003 he had visited his GP for problems including his cocaine and ecstasy use, depression, feelings of paranoia and excessive drinking.

His GP told the court that his initial attendance at the surgery was in 2001 after a break-up.

Snorting

Dunne was prescribed sleeping pills and anti-depressants.

He attended the GP a number of times in 2003 when it was noted he was "drinking eight cans a night" and snorting substantial amounts of cocaine.

He was no longer suicidal but was still depressed and had trouble sleeping and he was referred to the psychiatrist in Grangegorman, Dublin.

Irish Life said in his insurance proposal form, Dunne had stated he drank six units of alcohol a week, never suffered from a mental or nervous disorder or had treatment for such a disorder in the past five years.

He also said he was not taking prescribed medication and did not take non-prescribed drugs.

The details were entirely misleading and, if disclosed, it would have led to the policy being declined, Irish Life said.

Martin Duffy, from Irish Life, said that because Mr Dunne was just 42 and died of multiple gunshot wounds the company sought his medical records.

It was also learned Mr Dunne had two life policies with Zurich which had also refused to pay out on them, Mr Duffy said.

After questions from Mairead McKenna BL, for Irish Life, Mr Duffy said it would be "completely unacceptable from an insurance point of view" to accept him as a policy holder given the illicit drug use and concerns about his mental health.

Ms Saunders was recalled to the witness box yesterday at the request of the defence.

She told Remy Farrell SC, for Irish Life, she thought there had been a misunderstanding in relation to these questions in the legal papers, known as "interrogatories".

"Maybe I did not understand it, I am not sure, but there were details about mental health issues and I did not know him back then and every answer was 'yes'," she said.

Mr Justice Tony O'Connor adjourned the case to May for legal submissions.