Photo: Herald/Library Images
Irish property tycoon Sean Dunne moved his family to Belle Haven, the uber-exclusive Greenwich, Connecticut, neighbourhood that is home to Paul Tudor Jones, earlier this year.And now, Sean Dunne has been dubbed “a pariah” by local paper Greenwich Time, and residents say he should absolutely not be allowed to join the elite Belle Haven Yacht Club, the Journal reports.
For background, developer Dunne is one of several Irish speculators fleeing the country in the wake of what is now a fully-fledged bust (the former Anglo Irish CEO David Drumm has moved to Boston and financier Derek Quinlan decamped to Switzerland).
Ever the Irishman, he also likes to drink.
A NYT profile on him begins:
It’s 3 a.m. at Doheny & Nesbitt, a favourite watering hole of Dublin’s political and business elite, and the property tycoon Sean Dunne stoops to retrieve a penny from the pub’s grimy floor.
One would think that Mr. Dunne, Ireland‘s best-known building developer, would be in bed at this hour. It’s a weeknight, after all, and he has meetings that begin before first light.
He is on perhaps his fifth pint of Guinness, capping a rollicking night of Champagne cocktails, followed by a wine-soaked dinner — yet his thick brogue is clear of even the faintest slurring.
Elaine Buss, who is a member of the Belle Haven club, obviously read the article. So when she found out Dunne had asked a neighbour to invite him to the Belle Haven club for a commissioning, she was outraged by the possibility.
Buss said she would not support any bid by Mr Dunne or his wife to become members of the club. “We would not write a letter for them. He’s just so out of character with Belle Haven,” said Ms Buss, who added: “Of course we’ve all read about him.”
According to her, someone who jokes, drunkenly (he had about 10 drinks during the course of the interview, apparently), about being “technically insolvent,” has no place in Greenwich.
But unfortunately, he does.
Dunne is renting a $7 million Mediterranean-style mansion in Greenwich while he waits for his new home on Bush Avenue, inside the gated Belle Haven enclave, to be built.
That house is ostensibly what got him into trouble in the first place; he only got a renovation licence for the property but when residents saw that the majority of the old Victorian home had been demolished, they complained to the local council.
Buss, of course, was one of the protestors. Though if Dunne threatened to sue her – as she claims – for speaking up about the property, she does have reason to try and have Dunne thrown out of the nabe.
Ok, so maybe he drinks a lot. And maybe he has a cash-flow issue at the moment, but its not like Greenwich has never harbored businesspeople that have fallen, even temporarily, from grace (Dick Fuld; David Ganek are just two).
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