Business Irish

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Quinn plans 'tell-all' book about collapsed empire

Alan Erwin

THE former billionaire Sean Quinn plans to write a "tell-all" book about how his business empire was stripped from his control.

Mr Quinn (65), formerly the country's richest man, said last night he was aware that most people feel he "messed up" in relation to his dealings with Anglo Irish Bank.

"What I cannot accept is the image that is currently being portrayed that our group of companies have been unprofitable," he said.

Yesterday, it was ruled that an attempt by Anglo to annul Mr Quinn's bankruptcy will be the subject of a two-day hearing in Belfast in December.

The bank claims full disclosure was not made when the businessman declared himself bankrupt.

A Belfast High Court judge was also told more information was required on passports held by Mr Quinn and his tax affairs on both sides of the border.

Mr Justice Deeny said Mr Quinn should be ready to give evidence himself.

If called it will be the first time that Mr Quinn -- who was ordered by a court in Dublin to pay a record €416m judgment to Anglo earlier this week -- will be cross-examined about his finances.

Mr Quinn said he filed for bankruptcy north of the border because he was born, reared and worked all his life in Co Fermanagh.

But the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) -- the new name for Anglo Irish Bank -- disputes his claim to be resident in Northern Ireland.


The IBRC has asked the High Court in Belfast to revoke Mr Quinn's bankruptcy which, if approved, means he only has to wait 12 months before going back into business rather than 12 years in the Republic.

Mr Quinn is facing the prospect of another €1.6bn judgment next Monday in Dublin. The official receiver handling his estate in Belfast said yesterday it would not seek to postpone an application by the IBRC to have the balance of a €2bn debt claim entered against him.

The tycoon told Fermanagh newspaper 'The Impartial Reporter' that he was determined to fight on and rebuild his family's reputation.

It is one of the few interviews he has granted since his business empire began to crumble.

"I feel what happened to the family and the area over the last two years shouldn't have happened," he said.

"We were a very successful company and feel very hard done by.

"We are determined to move on and rebuild the family's reputation over the next five to 10 years, and try to undo some of the injustices we feel have been done to us."

Mr Quinn said he was very much a home bird.

"I just stayed around home; took it easy with the local lads, went to the local pub and put the wellington boots on to walk around the mountains. That's the way I operated and I have no regrets on that, but I am paying the price for it now," he said.

And he said the image of his companies as unprofitable is a misconception.

"I think you will see more of the Quinns in the next 10 years," he added.

Irish Independent

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