Sunday 17 February 2019

Sean Quinn joins chorus of criticism in row over administrators

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

BANKRUPT tycoon Sean Quinn last night criticised the joint administrators of Quinn Insurance, after Finance Minister Michael Noonan also vented his fury at them in correspondence aired in court.

It was a rare example of harmony -- given that the Government has repeatedly insisted Mr Quinn and members of his family must comply with a High Court order to return €500m worth of foreign assets.

It came after Mr Noonan complained that the Government was 'misled" by the joint administrators about the true cost of Quinn Insurance, which has doubled to €1.65bn -- a cost to be covered by a 2pc levy on consumers' policies.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Quinn said: "The administrators completely sidelined us and effectively set about destroying one of the most profitable companies in Irish corporate history, while blaming the previous management in the process."

But the joint administrators Michael McAteer and Paul McCann, of Grant Thornton, rejected suggestions they misled the Government, blaming the culture at Quinn Insurance of suppressing losses.

"The minister cannot understand how you, as highly remunerated professional administrators with the support of highly remunerated actuaries and auditors, could not have had a greater insight into the total increased cost at an earlier stage," a civil servant wrote on Mr Noonan's behalf.

A spokesman for Mr Noonan said the administrators were appointed by the court, and that pay and performance issues had "nothing to do with him".

Irish Independent

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