Wednesday 25 April 2018

A bon viveur with love of fine art and fine wine

Siobhan Creaton

Lochlann Quinn is one of Ireland's most successful and wealthiest businessmen. Known to be a tough taskmaster, with a gruff manner, the 72-year-old accountant made his fortune at Glen Dimplex.

He joined the Louth-based electrical appliance company in the 1980s and sold his shares 24 years later to its founder Martin Naughten for more than €200m.

The two businessmen also own the five-star Merrion Hotel opposite Government Buildings in Dublin.

The hotel, which includes the Michelin-star Patrick Guilbaud's restaurant, is a regular haunt for the rich and famous. In recent times it has become home to the troika team who come to Ireland every few months to check the Government is meeting the terms of the IMF/EU bailout.

Mr Quinn is a bon viveur with a love of fine art and fine wines.

He and his wife, Brenda, own a valuable private art collection and have donated works that include Louis le Brocquy's 'A Family', valued at €2.7m, to the National Gallery. They benefited from generous tax exemptions through these donations. Mr Quinn has served as chairman of the National Gallery and is a former director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

He also has his own vineyard in Bordeaux, Chateau de Fieuzal, which he bought in 2001. One of its white Sauvignons was served at the state banquet for Queen Elizabeth in Dublin Castle last year.

Since leaving Glen Dimplex his business skills have been in strong demand. Mr Quinn is a former chairman of AIB bank when it was Ireland's biggest and most powerful financial institution. He resigned in 2003, a year after a rogue trader almost broke the bank.

In 2008 he took up a five-year post as chairman of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB). He is also the main benefactor behind the Quinn Business School at his alma mater, University College Dublin.

Mr Quinn and his wife live off Dublin's most prestigious address, Ailesbury Road, and have six children. Their son Oisin is a councillor on Dublin City Council. His brother Ruairi is the Education Minister.

Irish Independent

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