Tuesday 12 December 2017

Financier the real winner in battle of glass titans

Glass rival Sean Quinn. Photo: David Conachy
Glass rival Sean Quinn. Photo: David Conachy

John Mulligan

When Ardagh exited the glass manufacturing business in Ireland to focus on its operations elsewhere in Europe, it cited the competitive pressure from Sean Quinn's factory in Fermanagh as one of the reasons for the closure of its Ringsend site.

The pair were soon on a collision course over a massive glass manufacturing plant built by Mr Quinn in Chester, England. It's one of the largest such facilities in Europe.

Ardagh Glass battled the local council in the UK courts in an effort to prevent it from granting retrospective planning permission to Quinn Glass for the plant. That legal attempt by Ardagh was unsuccessful, but the judge did instruct the council to issue an enforcement notice against Quinn Glass instructing it to cease production and demolish its factory.

But implementation of that order was suspended pending an appeal by Quinn Glass.

In 2009, the Quinn Glass factory received the thumbs-up from the local council's head of development management, paving the way for its retention.

The victory for Quinn Glass might have been a sour note for Ardagh, but with Mr Quinn no longer in control of his group following his failed €2.5bn bet on Anglo Irish Bank, it's financier Paul Coulson and Ardagh who have emerged as the real winners.

Irish Independent

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