Saturday 21 April 2018

Former Superquinn boss Feargal Quinn reveals he doesn't take his €65k salary

Feargal Quinn
Feargal Quinn

Independent Senator Feargal Quinn has revealed he doesn’t take his €65,000 Seanad salary.

The former Superquinn entrepreneur has said he has donated it to charity since he was first elected to the Seanad.

In recent years, however, he declined to take his salary at all.

“I’m not taking a salary. When I went into the Seanad first 20 years ago and I said I want to give my salary to charity, they said ‘well the Government have to get their half first, about 50pc’. I said ‘no’.”

“So I took my salary for the first time and gave it to charity and didn’t say anything about it. But for recent years, the last 10 years or so, I said ‘no I won’t take the salary at all’.”

“This is... probably the last eight years, since the State ran into some difficulty.”

The Senator has spoken in a new documentary about his “comparatively easy” decision to sell Superquinn.

“I was coming to the age of 70 and others valued our sites much more than we did. I remember somebody saying to me ‘I can’t believe you don't put eight floors on top of that, two levels of car parking underneath. You could make much more money’.”

“So others valued the premises much more than we could ever make from the grocery business.”

“I went to the family and said ‘others value this and I’m getting to the stage that I’m not going to start getting into construction and building, do you want to’? And they didn’t want to. They said ‘we don’t know anything about that’ so it was a comparatively easy decision to sell.”

The veteran entrepreneur has told TV3's Nora Owen about working in his father’s Red Island holiday camp as a shoe-shine boy and a bingo caller.

He recalls the dilemma he faced after seeing his very first shoplifter, and when he got the call to tell him that one of his Superquinn stores was burning down.

Feargal also browses through home-movie footage and personal photos from his own family archive.

‘Feargal Quinn: Supermarket Revolutionary’ airs Monday 8th September at 9pm on TV3.

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