Wednesday 29 January 2020

Quinn seeks access to Lenihan papers in huge trawl

Sean Quinn
Sean Quinn

Tom Lyons

The bankrupt industrialist Sean Quinn is trying to force dozens of banks, accountancy firms and state bodies to reveal what they have on their files about him and whether they knew about alleged secret surveillance on him and the wider Quinn family.

The former billionaire is even seeking to see the personal papers of the late Finance Minister Brian Lenihan as part of a fierce effort to prove a substantial part of his loans of €2.8bn were advanced illegally to him by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly Anglo Irish Bank.

Quinn has lodged information requests with scores of agencies, government departments and private companies in a bid to uncover all information they have collated in relation to him.

The letters were dispatched last week, and come under data protection legislation.

The move comes just days before Quinn is expected to give his own evidence in a contempt of court action. Quinn is seeking details of all surveillance that might have been carried out on the family by third parties, as well as all minutes of meetings where the family and their business interests were discussed.

The letters were sent to the IBRC, as well as the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Finance.

The Quinn family are seeking any documents that might have been held personally by the late Brian Lenihan. Data requests were also issued to the Quinn Group and Quinn Group Northern Ireland, both of whom are under the control of IBRC.

The accountancy firm Grant Thornton, which acted as administrator to Quinn Insurance, was also served with the letter, along with auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Central Bank received a letter, along with the Financial Services Authority in the UK. Macquarie Bank, which handled the sale of Quinn Insurance, also received one.

The family of Sean Quinn separately filed a blockbuster discovery order to the IBRC earlier this year in a bid to find out who knew about their father's €2.8bn in borrowings from the bank.

Their discovery motion focused on 25 people employed by or associated with Anglo Irish Bank, ranging from David Drumm, its then chief executive, and his board, to more junior staff.

Separately, Sean Quinn is involved in legal battles with IBRC which claims that he has attempted to move hundreds of millions worth of assets out of their reach.

IBRC is taking a High Court contempt case in Dublin against Quinn, alleging he breached an order directing him not to interfere with a number of Russian property assets. Quinn's lawyers say the allegations are without foundation.

In Belfast, meanwhile, the High Court ruled that a debt relating to his Russian assets that was assigned by Sean Quinn to a Belize company appeared to be "irresistibly an orchestrated, elaborate and illicit charade". He denies this.

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