IT is impossible to exaggerate the level of "bad blood" between businessman Sean Quinn and Anglo Irish Bank, a lawyer for the Quinns told the High Court today.
Brian O'Moore SC made the comment during closing submissions in the hearing of the application by Anglo alleging Sean Quinn Senior, his son Sean and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn breached court orders restraining them taking steps to put assets beyond the reach of the bank.
Mr O'Moore said the extraordinary level of bitterness between the sides made it highly unlikely Mr Quinn would have taken any steps which could place himself, his only son and his nephew at risk of being jailed for contempt on the application of the bank, their "implacable adversary".
The bank was alleging some "dreadfully sophisticated master plan" to place assets beyond its reach had been engaged in by the Quinns but the evidence showed there was no such master plan, he argued. It was more like "fire fighting".
Sean Quinn blamed both the current management of Anglo - now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation - and its former management, on foot of whose assurances he invested enormous sums of money in the bank, for the collapse in the Quinn family fortunes, counsel added.
The bank is seeking orders for attachment and, if necessary, committal to prison of the three for the alleged contempt of court orders were made in June and July 2011 in proceedings where the bank sought to prevent assets in the Quinn international property group, valued at up to €500m, being put beyond its reach.
The three men have said the family did take steps to prevent the bank moving against various assets but deny any such steps were taken after the court orders were made. All three deny contempt.
The bank rejects the claim no steps were taken after the orders and has alleged there was back-dating of documents in an effort to support the claims of no breach. It claims the evidence showed there was a plan authorised by Sean Quinn Senior to put assets beyond the reach of the bank, the plan was developed by his nephew Peter and his son was aware of the plan.
The evidence also showed steps in furtherance of that plan were carried out after the court orders, it contends.
Explanations provided by the Quinns for the transfer of valuable assets in Russia and Ukraine for no consideration, or for nominal consideration, to apparently unconnected entities, including an unemployed Ukrainian, were "incredible", it claims
In separate proceedings, the family claim they are not liable for loans of some €2.34 billion made by Anglo to Quinn companies because those loans were unlawfully made to prop up the bank's share price.
In the contempt case, the bank claims Sean Quinn Senior and Peter Quinn were involved in the alleged assignment of about US$130m worth of loans to a Belize entity for nominal consideration on or after July 20th 2011 and in back-dating those loans to April 2011.
It is also alleged the two were involved in a fraudulent assignment on or after July 6th 2011 of a €45.2m debt to a Northern Ireland company, Innishmore, controlled by Peter Darragh Quinn, with a view to taking control of a Ukranian property asset worth about US$78m.
All three respondents are alleged to have been involved in late August 2011 in a process leading to a US$500,000 payment being made out of the accounts of Quinn Properties Ukraine to its general director, Ms Janis Puga. That money remains frozen.