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Quinn Group subjected to 16 'serious incidents' of sabotage

THE Quinn Group has been subjected to at least 16 serious incidents of sabotage since the Quinn family lost control of the group, it has been claimed.

Speaking at a conference in Dublin, company chief executive Paul O'Brien said the conglomerate had suffered "significant sabotage and intimidation" since a share receiver was appointed to the group in April last year.

There had been 16 incidents that could be classed as "serious" or "very serious" in that time, he added.

The appointment of a receiver to the Quinn Group caused huge resentment in the Derrylin area where most of the business is based, with the vast majority of the local population backing Sean Quinn and his family.

Mr O'Brien himself has been a target by the apparent campaign.

In August 2011 his car was burnt out at his home in Meath.

A month earlier, a cement factory near Derrylin was targeted and about €300,000 of damage caused, with vans, a lorry and other construction vehicles destroyed.

Three electricity poles near Kinawley in Co Fermanagh were also cut down.

The attack on Mr O'Brien's home prompted the executive to take to the national airwaves, calling on Mr Quinn to explicitly condemn the attacks on the business.

That prompted a statement from Mr Quinn confirming that he had "no knowledge whatsoever of any unlawful acts in relation to individuals or property associated with the Quinn Group other than what I have read in the media".

Despite the problems that have dogged the Quinns and by extension the group in the past year, Mr O'Brien told the conference that the group was now worth more than €500m and growing.

"The business is alive," he said.

The group is one of the biggest conglomerates in the country, with interests ranging from cement and manufacturing to hospitality and property management.

Irish Independent