Anglo Irish Bank to challenge Sean Quinn’s bankruptcy plans in court
THE NOW nationalised Anglo Irish Bank is to challenge Sean Quinn’s insolvency proceedings in Northern Ireland.
Once a billionaire and thought to be Ireland’s richest man, Mr Quinn was declared bankrupt in the High Court in Belfast on Friday but the bank, which says he owes it over €2bn, is disputing his claims that he is resident in Northern Ireland.
By declaring bankruptcy in Northern Ireland, Mr Quinn would only have to wait one year before going back into business compared with 12 in the Republic under current leglisation.
Although he was born and reared in County Fermanagh, much of his business empire is based in the Republic.
Mr Quinn claims the registered office and place of business of the Quinn Group companies is Derrylin in County Fermanagh but lawyers for Anglo are disputing this and say they have evidence that his main residence is Ballyconnell, Co Cavan and this is the address used in the annual returns of 95 companies that he is or was a director of.
The businessman also said he is domiciled for tax purposes in Northern Ireland and his tax affairs are conducted in the UK.
The bank intends to bring an application by the end of this week or early next week to have the bankruptcy annulled.
Mr Quinn, who has already been stripped of his manufacturing and insurance businesses, is also disputing the amount the bank claims he owes.
He accepts that he owes Anglo, now known as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, around €194m in property loans which he cannot repay.
Earlier, the sale of Quinn Insurance to Liberty Mutual Group was completed.
Staff have been transferred to the US-led group and will continue to operate from offices in Dublin, Enniskillen and Cavan and the business will be rebranded as Liberty Insurance from next year.
“We are pleased with this acquisition as it enables us to enter the Irish market as the economy begins to recover,” David H Long, Liberty Mutual Group president and chief executive, said.