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Sunday 17 December 2017

Quinn staff in North back tycoon's bid to overturn regulator

Pat Tierney and Symon Ross

EMPLOYEES of the Quinn Group in the North yesterday urged local politicians to help them lobby the Government here to overturn the decision to put the company into administration.

DUP Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Sinn Fein Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew joined forces with the MLAs and councillors at a meeting with staff at Quinn's headquarters in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh yesterday.

The aim of the meetings was to provide a forum for Quinn employees to voice their concerns about the impact the ruling, if not reversed, will have on jobs in the area; and the best way to prevent any further damage to the company's reputation.

Embattled businessman Sean Quinn has the backing of his local community on both sides of the Border as businesses, workers, and sports groups plan to stage rallies in support of the tycoon.

Employees went to Leinster House on Thursday demanding political intervention to help safeguard the 5,500 jobs across the Quinn empire.

Now, three separate events in Cavan and Dublin are planned for next week in a show of public support for Mr Quinn.

Quinn employees are also planning to hold simultaneous rallies in Cavan town and outside the Dail at noon on Tuesday to show their support for their boss and to outline their concerns for the future of their jobs.

The following day the Cavan Chamber of Commerce and the GAA County Board are organising a solidarity rally in Cavan town's Market Square.

"What we are trying to do here is show our solidarity and support of Quinn Insurance employees and management and the wider Quinn Group," said chamber president Eamon McDwyer.


Irish Rural Link, a group representing the interests of rural communities, said the Quinn Group provides thousands of jobs in some of the most neglected parts of the country and maintaining this employment must be central to any decisions about the administration process. Seamus Boland, chief executive of the organisation, said: "The Quinn Group is a significant regional employer, particularly in the Border areas which benefited least from the Celtic Tiger.

"There were calls to move mountains in relation to Hangar 6 and its 300 jobs but if the right decisions are not made in this case thousands of jobs in the most vulnerable regions are threatened."

Mona Bermingham, spokeswoman for Quinn staff in Co Fermanagh, said the firm's employees wanted the support of the politicians as they seek to overturn the Financial Regulator's decision to stop Quinn Insurance writing new business in the UK.

Business: P39 & P41

Irish Independent

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