Tuesday 15 October 2019

Quinn's wife fights order to repay €3m Anglo loan

Appeal lodged just a day before bank deadline to pay back funds

Laura Noonan

PATRICIA Quinn launched an appeal last night against a judgment ordering her to repay a €3m loan from Anglo Irish Bank.

The appeal to the Supreme Court by the wife of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn came a day before a deadline for repayment.

The Irish Independent has learnt that Patricia Quinn got a "demand letter" from Anglo Irish Bank last Friday asking her to fulfil a court order to repay €3m to the nationalised institution.

The housewife was given four working days to meet the demand, a deadline that gave her until the end of today to repay the bank. Sources last night confirmed that the demand would not be met because Mrs Quinn has not got the resources to do so.

Anglo Irish Bank, now known as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), had told the court it did not know whether Mrs Quinn had the means to meet the demand or not, since her private accounts were held at a different bank.

Mr Quinn and his wife handed over all their interests in the Quinn Group empire to their five children back in 2002. Their four sons and daughters also own the family home.

The demand letter does not state what the bank intends to do if it is not fulfilled. Options open to the bank include applying for Mrs Quinn to be declared a bankrupt.

The Irish Independent understands that a move to do this was always extremely unlikely to occur before Christmas.

Anglo will have to consider whether it can recoup enough value from bankruptcy to justify the costs.

Mrs Quinn had 28 days from December 16's High Court order to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court.

In the original case, Mrs Quinn told the judge she was a housewife with no knowledge of business affairs, and that she was under "undue influence" from her husband when she signed the loan documents.


She also claimed that she had not known she was a borrower of the bank until "very recently" and said she had gotten no benefit from the loan, since it was put into one of the Quinn Group companies and not used for redecorating the family home (as originally intended).

IBRC had disputed Mrs Quinn's categorisation of herself as a housewife, pointing out that she was a director of more than 90 Quinn companies and served as company secretary for about 10 of the firms.

The bank also held that Mrs Quinn had signed the loan and was therefore responsible for it.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Peter Kelly said it was negligent of Mrs Quinn to sign loan documents without understanding them, and that who got benefit from the loan was between herself and her husband.

The judge refused Mrs Quinn's lawyers request for a stay postponing the effect of the judgment order, saying the family would have to petition the Supreme Court for any stay.

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