Business Irish

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Bankrupt Sean Quinn: I’m scared to go to prison but I won't back out of it

Bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn
Bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn

Edel O’Connell

BANKRUPT businessman Sean Quinn has said he is afraid to go to prison but he won’t back out of it.

Last week, a High Court judge jailed the son and nephew of the disgraced businessman for three months after finding failures to adequately comply with court orders aimed at reversing measures stripping multi-million assets from the Quinn family’s international property group.

Sean Quinn Junior is currently serving a three month sentence.

Peter Darragh Quinn failed to turn up in court and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

In an interview on Shannonside Radio this morning Sean Quinn Senior said he was “very saddened” by what has happened to his family.

“We are very sad to think one of your own children is in jail.

It is something we never contemplated when we got married and started a family. We never expected to finish here. We live for our family,” he said.

“Yes, I am scared of prison. It’s the last thing if you are after building up a business over 38 years and you are approaching your 66th birthday and you never owed a man a penny and you feel hard done by and you try to protect yourself and your family and go to prison- if that is the society we are living in, I am happy to accept that.

“Will I back off it, will I lose my pride? I won’t.”

The businessman said his nephew Peter had a ''desperate fear” of prison.

Mr Quinn staunchly defended the decision to attempt to hide assets from Anglo Irish Bank: "We made a very conscious decision in the days approaching it, once we found out that Anglo were about to take it, that they tried to sell Hilton in Prague and Mike Aynsley went on national radio to say there were going to be changes. We didn't make immediate efforts to secure something that we were after building up. I’m not the easiest man in the world to advise, and we took it upon ourselves to do it and felt it was the right thing to do. We still feel it was the right thing to have done," he said.

His daughter Colette says she has had no contact with her cousin Peter since the warrant was issued for his arrest.

"I feel sorry for Peter that he felt he had no option but to do this. My heart goes out to him. If he is listening to this, I'd like to say that I hope he's well and I'm thinking about him every day,” she said.

"I think he's in a very difficult situation as well as Sean. I couldn't advise him on what to do, Peter knows better than I do about what he should do," she added.

She added her brother Sean had not grown up with a “silver spoon in his mouth” and was extremely adaptable which would “stand well” to him over the next number of months in prison.

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