Thursday 18 December 2014

'I made mistakes,' Quinn tells Kenny, 'but I'm not a gambler'

Published 06/12/2013 | 02:30

Moved to tears...EMBARGO
WINNER'S PORTFOLIO - 3rd Prize News - Mark Condren, Irish Independent - MOVED TO TEARS - Businessman Sean Quinn becomes emotional during a support rally held for him in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan....
Businessman Sean Quinn

BANKRUPT businessman Sean Quinn has denied he is a gambler, despite his expensive dealings in shares of the former Anglo Irish Bank.

And he has revealed his family are able to defend a series of legal actions with the IBRC, formerly Anglo, because of the "huge support around".

"I wouldn't see myself as a gambler," he told Newstalk's Pat Kenny in a major interview, adding he may have been greedy and that he feels stupid.

"Six years ago, I stupidly got involved in shares in Anglo Irish Bank. I feel stupid... maybe I had too big a holding in Anglo. But I wasn't the only one... it was seen as very profitable."

Mr Quinn, once one of Ireland's richest men with a business empire that stretched across the globe, ended a nine-week jail sentence earlier this year for contempt of court.

His decision to spend billions building up a secret stake in the bank using complicated financial instruments called Contracts for Difference (CFDs) spectacularly went wrong at the beginning of the financial crisis. In 2008, the Financial Regulator hit Quinn Insurance with a record €3.2m fine. Mr Quinn, who was personally fined €200,000, stood down as director and chairman and the fine related to a €288m loan in May 2008 to cover CFD losses.

There are a number of ongoing legal proceedings involving members of the Quinn family.

The main case is against IBRC, in which they claim no liability for billions of loans advanced by Anglo to Quinn companies in 2007 and 2008, and proceedings initiated in 2011 by IBRC alleging a conspiracy to place Quinn assets out of the reach of the bank. When asked how the cases were being funded, Mr Quinn said: "There is a lot of support for the Quinn family and we have been very supportive in many areas over the past 30 or 40 years."

While he admitted mistakes, he believes his family has been hard done by. "I have made mistakes, but I feel that the people who have done things to me – they should be ashamed."

He also said the award-winning Anglo Tapes, as exposed by the Irish Independent, 'Sunday Independent' and Independent.ie, were of interest to his family. "The tapes show a disrespect for the law and for the regulator," he added.

Irish Independent

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