Wednesday 13 December 2017

Sean Quinn Jnr appeal over jail for contempt set for October hearing

Sean Quinn Junior
Sean Quinn Junior

Tim Healy

AN appeal by the son of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn over being jailed for "outrageous" contempt of court orders restraining a multi-million asset stripping scheme will be heard by the Supreme Court in October.

Sean Quinn Junior was jailed last Friday by Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne following her finding he, his father and his cousin, Peter Darragh Quinn, had failed to adequately comply with a series of coercive orders made by her aimed at unwinding the scheme to strip assets from the Quinn family's international property group (IPG).

The coercive orders were sought by Irish Bank Resolutionn Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, which claimed the family had sought to put assets beyond its reach. The bank claims it is owed some €2.8bn arising from loans made to various Quinn companies.

Ms Justice Dunne indicated she was sending Sean Quinn Jnr and Peter Darragh Quinn to jail for three months but, if the orders were still not complied with, they could remain there indefinitely.

She said she was not jailing Sean Quinn Senior because she wanted him to be available to assist IBRC in its efforts to protect assets worth up to €500m in the IPG.

When Peter Daragh Quinn did not turn up for Friday's court hearing, a warrant was issued for his arrest but it remains unexecuted.

At the Supreme Court today, Bill Shipsey SC, for the Quinns, asked the Chief Justice Susan Denham to prioritise the hearing of the appeal by Sean Junior against the coercive orders and the order for his imprisonment.

Mr Shipsey argued the contempt found against Sean Junior was in relation to one issue only relating to a €500,000 payment to the general director of a Ukrainian company within the IPG around the end of August 2011, just before IBRC took over control of that company.

The Chief Justice said the court would hear the appeal in early October and she made directions for the exchange between the sides before then of legal documents for the appeal.

Also today, in the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Moriarty made directions for the discovery of documents for the action by members of the Quinn family in which they claim they are not liable for some €2.35bn of the loans made to Quinn companies.

The family say they are not liable due to alleged illegal conduct by the bank in advancing loans to support its share price.

IBRC denies those claims and the action has been returned for further mention in October.

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