Thursday 21 September 2017

Quinn family 'amazed' by Anglo claims €2bn loans given to them were lawful

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

THE family of businessman Sean Quinn have told the Supreme Court that it is "amazing" that the former Anglo Irish Bank is contending more than €2bn loans given to them were lawful.

The Quinns said "another arm of the State" has brought criminal proceedings against three former Anglo executives alleging they weren't lawful.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court was urged by the IBRC (formerly Anglo) to urgently hear an appeal.

It is aimed at preventing litigation by the Quinn family over their claims that Anglo unlawfully advanced €2.4bn loans to Quinn companies, to prop up the bank's plummeting share price.

Lawyers for IBRC told the Supreme Court that the appeal was of "very singular urgency".

But lawyers for the Quinns – who are separately trying to join the Central Bank and Department of Finance as co-defendants to their civil action – said it was "amazing" that state-owned IBRC was contending no such unlawful loans were advanced when "another arm of the State" has brought criminal proceedings against former Anglo executives alleging they were.

Martin Hayden, counsel, argued IBRC's appeal was not urgent.

He told the court that the Quinns only had one senior and a junior counsel available to deal with more urgent matters.

These matters included their application to join the Central Bank and Department of Finance as co-defendants with IBRC on grounds alleging they were well aware of the allegedly unlawful loans.

The Quinns are relying on a series of documents to support their claims including a July 9, 2008 email from then Anglo CEO David Drumm entitled "regulator squared".

Emails between Mr Drumm and Declan Quilligan of Anglo that day began with one from Mr Drumm with "regulator squared" in the subject field, but no text.

Mr Quilligan replied: "Excellent! I hope he was grateful!"

Mr Drumm replied: "Excited I would say – I think he is lying awake at night like the rest of us." Referring to those emails, Aoife Quinn said in an affidavit she believed the apparent apprehension of the regulator and Anglo was the bank was running out of time, in terms of the funding.

It was around then the "infamous Maple 10 consortium" was put in place and one Anglo email referred to them as the "10 disciples", she said.

Paul Gallagher, counsel for the IBRC said the loans at issue in the family's case are not the same loans subject of the criminal prosecutions. But Mr Hayden said that was incorrect.

Mr Hayden handed in a timeline to the Chief Justice, Ms Justice Susan Denham, outlining the proceedings involving the Quinns which will have them in court at a later date.

The Chief Justice said she would give the Quinns to October 31 to file their submissions.

She will then decide whether it merits a priority hearing.

Irish Independent

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