Wednesday 21 February 2018

The Quinn Family

Sean Quinn
Sean Quinn
Patricia Quinn, wife of Sean Quinn, arrives at court
Sean Quinn junior. Picture: Damien Eagers
Colette Quinn
Ciara Quinn
Brenda Quinn

Who is who in the Quinn Family


THE head of the Quinn empire has a real rags-to-riches (and back to rags) story. In the early Seventies, not long after leaving school, Fermanagh-born Quinn borrowed £100 to set up a business extracting gravel from his family's 23-acre farm, washing it and selling it to local builders. It wasn't long before he was diversifying into other activities like cement and glass manufacturing.
Rapidly accumulating wealth, he built up interests in everything from hospitality to insurance. By 2008 he was Ireland's richest man, with a personal wealth estimated at €4.7bn. As Anglo Irish Bank's share price rose at an unprecedented pace, Quinn began to amass a large stake in the lender – and watched his empire crumble when Anglo fell apart in 2010. Quinn was declared bankrupt in the Republic in early 2012.


THE Galway-born matriarch of the Quinn dynasty, a mother of five, describes herself as a homemaker. "I was at home looking after the children," she told the court last week. "I wasn't involved in anything."


HIS father's right-hand man, Sean Junior once played a senior role at Quinn Insurance in the UK. He was fond of accumulating assets and bought the famous Belfry golf resort in Birmingham in 2005. It was later sold to a US group for a reported €113m, half of what was paid for it. Once considered one of Ireland's most eligible bachelors, Sean Junior married glamorous blonde Karen Woods in 2012 at Wicklow's luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel (now the Powerscourt Hotel). He's a keen GAA player and played for Fermanagh in his youth.


Eldest daughter Colette helped run former Quinn asset The Slieve Russell Hotel in Cavan for several years. She also owned the Ibis and Hilton Hotels in Prague.


CIARA is perhaps best known for her extravagant wedding in 2008 at the Slieve Russell Hotel. The wedding cake alone cost a cool €100,000; the 6ft, 10-tier flower-covered creation was made in New York, and flown to Ireland with its creator, a team of assistants and a kitchen. Ciara, who once worked within Quinn Insurance, is also known for giving emotional testimony at a hearing in 2012, claiming that IBRC was harassing her family by haranguing them for personal emails and media files stored on their phones – including video of her giving birth.


FOR many years Brenda was the official owner of the Slieve Russell Hotel, after being gifted the property as a child. The Quinn daughter is the only one still in her 20s. She also worked for Quinn Insurance before her family's empire fell apart. She later took a claim for constructive dismissal against the new managers of the company, which was settled in the Employment Appeals Tribunal last May. She left Ireland for a time in 2011, heading to Australia before returning the following year.

Sunday Independent

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