Saturday 18 January 2020

Sean Quinn junior wants to purge contempt orders which led to his three month jail term

Sean Quinn Jnr. and his wife, Karen pictured leaving Mountjoy Prison Training Unit after visiting Sean Quinn Snr earlier this month.
Sean Quinn Jnr. and his wife, Karen pictured leaving Mountjoy Prison Training Unit after visiting Sean Quinn Snr earlier this month.

SEAN Quinn Junior has given "unequivocal" instructions he wants to purge his contempt of the court orders which led to his serving a three month jail term, his lawyers told the High Court today.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne, who jailed Mr Quinn on July 20 last, said this "sounds very promising and hopefully that will turn out to be the case" after being informed of Mr Quinn's intention by Ross Aylward BL.

Given the continuing exchange of correspondence between lawyers for Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) and the Quinn side, Shane Murphy SC, for the bank, said the sides had agreed the contempt proceedings against Mr Quinn Jnr, his father Sean senior and his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn, could be further adjourned to December 13.

Those contempt proceedings arose in the context of the bank's proceedings against the Quinn children and some of their spouses, as well as against Peter Darragh Quinn and several companies, aimed at protecting up to €430m assets in the family's international property group.

Mr Murphy said new lawyers had come on record for the Quinn children and some of their spouses but not for Sean Quinn Senior or Peter Darragh Quinn.

The court heard today there was still no appearance by or on behalf of Peter Darragh Quinn who was jailed in his absence at the same time as Sean junior was also jailed.

A warrant issued by the judge for his arrest remains unexecuted as he continues to live at his home in Northern Ireland.

Sean Quinn Senior was jailed last month for nine weeks and the judge was told by Karen Nolan BL he had instructed his lawyers on November 7 last he no longer wished them to represent him.

An application by those lawyers to "come off record" for Mr Quinn will be dealt with by the court next week.

The bank's counsel, Mr Murphy, also said today that correspondence from IBRC had been sent to the Quinn side related to its intention to "recalibrate" some 30 coercive orders made by the judge last July aimed at reversing asset-stripping measures.

The bank has initiated that "recalibration" process in light of a Supreme Court decision that the High Court was not entitled to jail Sean Quinn Jnr indefinitely on foot of those orders in circumstances where there was no actual findings he was involved in most of those asset-stripping measures.

Also today, Mr Justice Frank Clarke ruled a "material change of circumstances" justified granting a separate application by IBRC to set aside a previous court decision referring a legal issue raised by the Quinns to the European Court of Justice.

That issue was whether the courts here or in Cyprus should determine the dispute between IBRC and the Quinns about their international businesses.

The Quinns had argued the Cyprus courts should decide the matter but the judge directed the reference should be set aside given several developments in the case, including the loss of a court action in Cyprus by the Quinns.

In the changed circumstances, the legal proceedings here will be over long before the Quinn Cypriot proceedings can even get significantly off the ground, he noted.

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