Sean Quinn 'left financial black hole'

Published Monday, 15 October 2012
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With bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn due to appear in court again later this week, a second rally has been held by his supporters in Co Cavan - while opinions on the former billionaire remain heavily divided.

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Sean Quinn walked through the town of Ballyconnell with his family during the demonstration, which was also attended by notable figures including Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte.

The weekend event was aimed at showing support for the beleaguered businessman, who once employed 7,000 people on both sides of the border.

The group behind the demonstration, Concerned Irish Citizens, said more and more people were supporting their stance.

"Concerned Irish Citizens is growing in popularity and is expanding at an incredible rate and is now fast becoming a force to be reckoned with," a spokesperson explained.

"It is very clear to us that there are more than enough good people who are not prepared to facilitate further harassment and corruption, such as that being dished out to the Quinn family and many others."

Injustice, bullying, intimidation and downright corruption can only prevail if enough good people do nothing.

Concerned Irish Citizens

Earlier this year, Mr Quinn, his son Sean Quinn Jr, and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn were found in contempt of court for hiding millions of Euros in assets from the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Quinn Jr was jailed and a warrant issued for Peter Darragh Quinn, but he went on the run and has not yet been caught. Mr Quinn was spared prison in order to purge the contempt and unravel the moves that carved up €500m (£391m) of the family's international property empire.

While support has been shown for the Quinn family over their downfall, particular in their hometown, it is not as easily found elsewhere.

"Sean Quinn has been a hugely successful businessman in the past, but unfortunately a lot of the money that's owed there at the moment is tax-payers', who are having to bail Sean Quinn's company out," Vincent Kearns, who owns a Dublin taxi business he's had to keep going despite the tough economic climate, told UTV.

"And where I do admire a lot of what he has done in the past, it's of grave concern to any businessman or to the people who are owed money today."

On the streets of Dublin, some people voiced frustrations over the consequences bad business deals by Quinn and others have had on the economy.

Business journalist Ian Kehoe pointed to the sheer magnitude of the debt Quinn has left behind.

"During the boom, Sean Quinn was the epitome of all that was good - he was entrepreneurial, he was investing in businesses, he employed thousands of people in an area that successive governments had just forgotten about," he said.

"And when boom turned to bust, it emerged that there was a €3bn hole in borrowings to fund his forays into Anglo Irish Bank - that his insurance company had a black hole of €1.6bn."

The financial black hole that's been left behind as a result of Sean Quinn is absolutely staggering.

Ian Kehoe, business journalist

The former Anglo Bank, now renamed the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, says Sean Quinn owes €2.8bn, but the Quinns put the figure at €455m.

Efforts are underway to recoup as much as possible from a property portfolio that stretches from Ireland to the Ukraine, Russia and India.

But Mr Kehoe said that the former billionaire still has questions to answer.

"With Quinn Insurance, he is blaming the financial regulator - he is saying the regulator should not have taken control of his company," he said.

"With regards to the Quinn Group, he is blaming the bank and political establishment. With regards to his €3bn foray into Anglo Irish Bank, he is blaming the banks and the regulatory climate.

"Now with regards to the foreign properties, they are blaming the Russians.

"In all of this, we've seen a series of blame games by the Quinn family and I think he has an awful lot of questions to answer in each of those individual businesses."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
catherine in * wrote (550 days ago):
mo money mo problems
Colin Shaw in Ireland wrote (551 days ago):
ady in Tyrone wrote (551 days ago):
What a slippery conniving self serving man who can still gather public support from the gullible and uninformed. Surely a great future ahead of him in politics ?
colin shaw in Ireland wrote (552 days ago):
Please tell me why my previous comments were not put up on your website? It was stating the case FOR Quinn.
sam in Ireland wrote (552 days ago):
I'm from Ireland and I know nobody who is supporting this greedy, arrogant, delusional family.
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