Saturday 20 January 2018

Quinn children take centre stage in showdown

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

THEIRS was once a fiercely private family, but in the three years since the Quinn empire hit the rocks, the next generation of the Quinns has taken centre stage in a multi-billion euro showdown that's gripped the nation.

The gang of eight -- all of whom had their assets frozen last month -- is made up of Sean Quinn's five children, his two son-in-laws and his nephew Peter Darragh Quinn, the son of former GAA chief Peter Quinn.

Peter Darragh Quinn (35) and Sean Quinn Jnr (33) were both named in contempt of court proceedings for breaching legal orders by placing Quinn international property assets outside the reach of Anglo Irish Bank (now known as IBRC).

The duo both gave evidence at a court case in Dublin earlier in the year and hit the headlines again this summer when it emerged they had been caught on camera in Kiev allegedly talking about plans to move assets away from the bank.

Yesterday, they were both sentenced to serve jail terms for failing to purge that contempt -- although only one of them, Sean Quinn Jnr, was there to hear the news.

The other two men -- son-in-laws Niall McPartland (a solicitor married to Ciara Quinn) and Stephen Kelly (an accountant married to Aoife Quinn) -- have also assumed central roles in the drama.

Mr Kelly (31), memorably gained ownership of a $13.4m (€11m) Russian property firm in exchange for a laptop, as part of what the bank dubbed a scheme to "denude" IBRC of value.

Mr McPartland (37), who has three young children with Ciara, was sued by IBRC over €6m used to gamble on Anglo Irish Bank shares. Mr McPartland argued he would never have benefited from the Anglo interest. A date for a full hearing will be set in October.

Mr McPartland and Mr Kelly have both become directors of a handful of 'new' Quinn firms.

The four Quinn daughters have kept a lower profile. Ciara (35), who advises the family on its communications strategy, hit the headlines when it emerged that she was suing Quinn Insurance for unfair dismissal.

Ciara has also been seen keeping a watching brief at some court proceedings, as has sister Aoife (30).

The eldest and youngest daughters -- Colette (36), who was involved in the Quinn's hotel business, and Brenda (25) -- have kept the lowest-profile.

But they will feature in the lawsuit that all five Quinn children have filed against the way IBRC took control of the Quinn Group, which they jointly owned.

Irish Independent

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