Friday 19 January 2018

Quinn daughter's offer to appear before finance committee turned down

Colette Quinn
Colette Quinn
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

SEAN Quinn's daughter has written to the Oireachtas Finance Committee offering to have any member of the family give evidence -- but the committee chairman won't allow it.

Ciaran Lynch said it would not be appropriate to give the family a formal hearing before TDs and senators while court proceedings are continuing.

The family is locked in a legal battle with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly Anglo Irish Bank, over multi-million-euro assets that the nationalised bank is trying to secure.

Earlier this month, the committee heard evidence from one of the administrators, the Central Bank and the Department of Finance as the taxpayer faces a bill of €1.65bn to cover losses at scandal-hit Quinn Insurance.

Following that hearing, Colette Quinn wrote to the committee clerk stating that "any member of our family" was prepared to attend Leinster House to give evidence.

Mr Lynch said the hearing focusing on the potential €1.65bn call on the State's Insurance Compensation Fund was a "once off". He told the Irish Independent the committee wrote to Ms Quinn informing her it would not be appropriate to give the family a hearing.

"There are a number of matters that are presently before the courts with regard to the broader operation of the company and in terms of the holding of its assets that are under examination, and in that context, I certainly believe that it would not be appropriate for the committee to be carrying out any concurrent examination of those matters," Mr Lynch said.

In her letter, Ms Quinn said the family welcomed any investigation into Quinn Insurance and the need to call on the Insurance Compensation Fund for losses in the company.

She said that neither the administrators nor the Central Bank should be permitted to lay the blame for the insurance levy faced by consumers "at our door without a full and transparent investigation".

Ms Quinn reiterated the family's argument that the company was outperforming all its competitors prior to being placed into administration.

"We are aware that the administrators, for their part, recently attended before the High Court and suggested that previous management were underproviding for claims.

"These allegations are totally unfounded and amount to a poor attempt by the administrators to deflect attention from their questionable management of the company since its placing into administration," she wrote.

At the committee hearing on October 10, Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton said the insurer's €1.65bn deficit always existed and no action or inaction by the administrators had contributed to it.

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