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Bank watched 'comings and goings' at tyre plant's offices

ANGLO Irish Bank yesterday strongly denied it placed Sean Quinn "under surveillance" -- but admitted it asked a private security firm to report on the entrepreneur's comings and goings at a Cavan tyre plant.

Over the course of Anglo's evidence to a Belfast court, it also emerged that the bank became suspicious about the Cavan tyre plant after reading about Mr Quinn's alleged activities there on a GAA blog.

On the blog, anonymous posters claimed Mr Quinn and his associates were using an office at the plant to launch a new insurance company dubbed 'Q2'.

Mr Quinn is claiming that he should be allowed to enter Northern Ireland bankruptcy because he has worked all his life north of the Border -- which would be inconsistent with the alleged tyre plant activities.

Anglo, now known as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), had claimed it "believed" Mr Quinn was conducting business from the plant. When pressed about his belief, IBRC executive Richard Woodhouse said he had first been asked about it by members of the press.

Mr Woodhouse then found references to the tyre factory on a GAA website. He then asked RMI, a security firm, to "look into the matter locally".

"I asked the firm to observe the tyre factory and report back," Mr Woodhouse said, adding that he had been told the factory was "being fitted out as an office" and that Mr Quinn was regularly there.

Mr Woodhouse rejected suggestions that he had been "snooping" on Mr Quinn, insisting "we were looking at buildings, Mr Quinn was not under surveillance".

In his affidavit, Mr Quinn said he visited the factory to catch up with friends and colleagues who were now working out of that office.

"I have never worked anywhere else (outside Derrylin)," Mr Quinn told reporters last night.

Irish Independent