Tuesday 20 February 2018

IBRC gets judgements against fugitive Peter Darragh Quinn

Tim Healy

THE dissolved Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) has got court judgments against the fugitive nephew of bankrupt businessman, Sean Quinn, in its action aimed at preventing the stripping of assets from the Quinn family's international property group (IPG).

Peter Darragh Quinn  has not been involved in the action since last June when the High Court ruled he, along with his uncle Sean and cousin Sean Quinn Jnr, were in contempt of court orders restraining stripping of assets.

Damages against Mr Quinn will, subject to the consent of the Director of Public Prosecution, be assessed at a hearing on April 18.

Following the contempt finding against him, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Mr Quinn to serve a three month jail term. That warrant has yet to be executed as he remains at his home across the border in Co Fermanagh.

At the Commercial Court today, Mr Justice Peter Kelly granted an application by Brian Murray SC, for IBRC, in special liquidation, for judgment orders against Mr Quinn and a against number of overseas companies.

The sum of damages to be paid by Mr Quinn and those companies will be assessed later.

Prior to that, the DPP will be asked if a damages assessment can proceed in the context of the fact that the full hearing of the bank's case, and the Quinns family's own case against the bank, have been "parked" pending the outcome of criminal proceedings against former Anglo Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick and two former senior executives of the bank - Pat Whelan and Willie McAteer.

Mr Murray secured the orders on grounds no defence was delivered to the case either by Mr Quinn or Indian Trust.

Judgment was also entered against three Russian companies - Vneshkonsult, Stroitelyne and RLC Development - over their failure to enter an appearance in the action.

An application for judgment against another company, Mecon FZV, was adjourned due to that company's appeal to the Supreme Court  against  ruling rejecting its challenge to the jurisdiction of the Irish courts to deal with the proceedings against it.

Mecon is seeking a stay on the bank's application against it pending the outcome of its appeal but the stay issue will be addressed later.

The developments arise in the action by IBRC, initiated in 2011, against the companies and various Quinn family members alleging stripping of assets from the IPG.

The five Quinn children and three of their spouses - Niall McPartland, Stepehen Kelly and Karen Woods - are defending those proceedings.

While the full hearing of the case has been deferred, various pre-trial matters are continuing.

Mr Murray said the bank was anxious to continue with pre-trial issues and asked to be permitted pursue discovery matters, including permitting the bank issue a request for voluntary discovery and requiring the Quinns reply to that.

Ross Aylwayd, for the Quinns, said it would be oppressive on his clients to have to deal with legal disclosure (discovery) issues when the pleadings in the case had not closed and they were also trying to deal with several other matters including issues arising concerning the new IBRC Act.

The discovery issues should be deferred until the court deals with those and his side's application, for hearing next May, to strike out the bank's case, he said.

It was unfair the bank was bringing such applications when the Quinns, as a result of the new IBRC Act (which has stayed all proceedings against the bank), was unable to push on pre-trial issues in their case, counsel added. The Quinns had "very limited resources", both financial and personal.

Mr Justice Kelly said he would not made orders requiring the Quinns reply to a request for discovery from the bank as they were already fighting on "a number of battlefronts" both this court term and next term.  He was also conscious they have limited resources and requiring them deal with substantial discovery issues now would "swamp then", he observed.

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