Famed Irish developer Sean Dunne has stated he is delighted to be living in America and that he had no option but to emigrate after his properties went bust.
Dunne was one of the most successful developers during the Celtic Tiger era and lost close to $500 million when is plan to turn Jurys and Berkeley Court hotels in Ballsbridge into a huge upscale development fell foul of the economic recession.
He has staretd again in America, in Connecticut and New York and says he has no regrets.
"It is refreshing because in America failed business people don't get tarnished. They are encouraged to reinvent themselves and come back again.
"We all took risks and that's what entrepreneurs do; that's what ordinary business people do every day of the week."
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"It's probably fair to point out that in 2007 I had predominately left Ireland for no particular reason -- certainly not to do with paying my taxes, but to explore other opportunities overseas because of the fallout here.
"To get any work in the building industry it is necessary to be overseas because there is no building work taking place in Ireland. I also felt that I had achieved as much as I could development - and construction-wise in Ireland.
"I'd laid the foundations for the planning application for D4 hotels, which, as we all know, was consigned to the scrap heap."
Asked if he regrets buying the Jurys and Berkeley Court hotels,Dunne said, "No, it would be fair to say I don't regret it. But if we all knew then what everybody knows now, we would have all retired and there wouldn't be enough chalets in Switzerland for us all to retire to.
"Hindsight is a fool's foresight”, he told the Independent. “I'm a believer that we can't dwell on the past or account for other peoples' actions and I don't believe in the blame game.
"If I did, I wouldn't get out of bed in the morning."
"I lost €120m of equity in the D4 hotels. The banks have also lost their money, but neither of us were led up the garden path, we are all big boys."
He says he has made his contribution to Ireland. "In 2007 my personal tax bill amounted to €42m and was paid in full. Everything I earned in Ireland I reinvested in Ireland and in its economic future. Like lots of other people, I was proven wrong but I can live with that."
Asked if he will ever come back to Ireland to live and work full-time, Dunne says, "I'd love to be able to pursue development opportunities in Ireland and believe that the day may not be too far away when people will be back building in Dublin."
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