Businessman Sean Dunne has told the High Court that he co-operated with the official in charge of his Irish bankruptcy.

Giving evidence the businessman also said that his wife, Gayle and their family had to leave their former home in the US in 2013 because they were being "hounded by the media" shortly after he was adjudicated a bankrupt.

He said he believed Private Investigators working for his creditors had leaked the address to the media.

In 2013, Ulster Bank petitioned the High Court to have Mr Dunne adjudicated bankrupt here after he had defaulted on some €164m loans.

The following month, Mr Dunne filed for bankruptcy in Connecticut in the United States, when he claimed to have debts of $1bn and assets of $55m.

Arising out of that application a US bankruptcy trustee was appointed by a US court. In addition, the Irish bankruptcy proceedings continued and in July 2013 the Irish High Court adjudicated Mr Dunne bankrupt.

On Tuesday, Mr Dunne said he had given "de facto co-operation" with Mr Chris Lehane, the official assignee in bankruptcy through the US trustee, and denied claims he had not co-operated with the process. 

Mr Dunne said that in 2013 he believed that his bankruptcy, adjudication and estate were all to be vested in the US.

However, he was adjudicated bankrupt in Ireland. He said that the US trustee and his lawyer went "behind my back" and changed the rules without telling him.

Mr Dunne was giving evidence in an application by the official assignee in bankruptcy, Chris Lehane to extend the businessman's bankruptcy on grounds that he has failed to co-operate with the process after being adjudicated bankrupt in 2013.

Under cross-examination on sworn statements Mr Dunne has provided in opposition to the extension application by Mark Sanfey SC for Mr Lehane, the businessman rejected an assertion by counsel that he never provided the official assignee with his address.

Mr Dunne, after the contents of a transcript of an interview he had with the official assignee in June 2016 were put to him, said following his adjudication in 2013 his primary place of residence was a property at Stillman Lane, Greenwich, Connecuit and that he lived in America.

He said that he had provided an address and had always turned up when required.

He said he had looked at the Irish bankruptcy regulations and could not find any requirement to inform the official assignee with the place where he was living. 

He said his family left the property in August/September 2013 due to media harassment.

However, he continued to spend time there, while also spending time with his son in New York, as well as Ireland and England.

When it was put to him that the house in Connecuit had been empty, and agents for the US trustee had observed it had no furniture, Mr Dunne said he "didn't need furniture to live in a house".

He said that on occasions he has lived without furniture adding he had previously stayed in tents in African townships.

When counsel said that it was important for the official assignee to know where a bankrupt is living as part of the bankruptcy process Mr Dunne asked if it mattered where he lived, or its relevance to his creditors.

"If I lived in Windsor Castle does that mean I have access to the Queen's money?" he said.

He said the house in Connecticut was rented out in early 2017 and recently he spends more time in Ireland and the UK compared to the US.

Mr Dunne's Irish bankruptcy was due to expire in July 2016 but has been extended pending the outcome of the full hearing concerning whether any extension, which can be for a maximum five years, should be granted.

The application, which is before Ms Justice Caroline Costello, continues.