Members of Quinn family face pressure to step down
Published 02/07/2011 | 05:00
SEVERAL members of Sean Quinn's family are coming under pressure to resign from Quinn Insurance, which has already sacked the Cavan tycoon's eldest daughter, Ciara.
The news comes as Quinn Insurance's administrators prepare the company for its impending sale to Anglo Irish Bank and US insurance giant Liberty Mutual.
Earlier this week, the Irish Independent revealed that Ciara Quinn was threatening legal action after being sacked by Quinn Insurance's administrators while she was on maternity leave.
Sources now confirm that several other Quinn family members are coming "under pressure" over their roles at Quinn Insurance, though the case involving Ciara is believed to be the "most advanced".
The insurance company employs four of Sean Quinn's five children -- Sean Quinn Jnr, Breda Quinn, Aoife Quinn and Ciara Quinn -- as well as two of the tycoon's son-in-laws.
It is understood that all six want to continue in the employment of Quinn Insurance after the insurer changes hands this September.
Their level of involvement since the Quinn family lost control of the insurance company in March 2010 is unclear.
If they have not been attending work in the normal fashion, this could form the basis of an attempt to have them removed from the company.
Quinn Insurance administrator Michael McAteer yesterday defended the action against Ciara Quinn in an e-mail sent to all Quinn Insurance staff.
Referring to "media reports" concerning the employment of "a former shareholder in the ultimate holding company", Mr McAteer said "standard HR processes" governed all his dealings with all staff.
These processes strictly adhered to employment laws, and also ensured that "all employees are treated equally, fairly and consistently", he told staff.
"They are vigorously applied by the company, and our approach always is to seek to discuss any employment issues with an employee in order to find a solution for the business.
"Termination of employment is a last resort," he added.
A spokesman for the Quinn family last night stressed that "absolutely no contact" was made with Ciara Quinn prior to her dismissal notice on June 24 "despite what Michael McAteer implies in his statement".
Mr McAteer last night declined to comment. Ciara Quinn has described her dismissal as "unlawful and discriminatory", insisting that the "continual absence" alleged by Quinn Insurance was due to her approved 14-month maternity leave.
She is threatening to take legal action against the company unless it confirms, in writing, that she can return to work on July 19 as originally planned.
The employment row comes as the Quinn family and Anglo Irish Bank square off against each other in court rooms in Dublin, Nicosia and Stockholm.
Sources stressed that Anglo had no role whatsoever in the Quinn Insurance employment row, since the bank won't take part-ownership of the insurer until the autumn.