Tuesday 21 November 2017

Sean Quinn Snr back behind bars after Christmas at home

Bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn arriving back at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin after spending Christmas with his family
Bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn arriving back at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin after spending Christmas with his family

Cormac McQuinn and Declan Brennan

BANKRUPT businessman Sean Quinn is back in Mountjoy prison after enjoying Christmas with his family.

The former tycoon was dropped back at the jail by a relative at 7.40pm yesterday after being allowed out for Christmas for compassionate reasons.

Mr Quinn stepped from a BMW X5 and made no comment as he re-entered the prison to resume his sentence.

He was jailed for contempt and sentenced to nine weeks in prison amid allegations of a plan to put his family's €500m international property empire beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank.

He is due for full release on January 4.

On Christmas Eve, the former billionaire, once Ireland's richest man, was collected from the Dublin jail by his son Sean Jnr and driven home in an Audi A5.

His temporary release allowed him to spend Christmas Day at his Ballyconnell, Co Cavan mansion. He was also able to attend the Christening of his granddaughter Orna on Wednesday, which was believed to have been called off twice as Mr Quinn and his son served sentences for contempt.

In a letter to Mountjoy governor Ned Whelan, his daughter Ciara said her father's absence from the Christening would "leave a large void in the ceremony and a dark cloud over the entire day" and that the birth of her daughter was "the only good in my life over the past 19 months".

Mr Quinn's wife Patricia had also pleaded for his release as she could not bear to be separated from her husband at Christmas.

Fr Gerry Comiskey, who conducted the baptism, said: "When they (the Quinn family) heard of Sean's arrangements for when he got home, they didn't ask me about the Christening but I volunteered to do anything that would accommodate them."


He said Mr Quinn was "not a bit worried" about returning to prison adding "he knows it's almost over".

Fr Comiskey also said that he had visited Mr Quinn in prison, and that he collected a box with 800 cards and letters of support.

Mr Quinn wrote an open letter to his supporters from prison.

He wrote: "I can honestly say that I have been overwhelmed with the number of letters and cards that I have received.

"I am the first to admit that I foolishly decided to invest heavily in Anglo Irish Bank" but added that the sums invested "are the subject of a legal case next year, so I can't comment much more on that." He claimed the bank, now called Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), the Government and the financial regulator wanted to "blacken the name of my family".

But he highlighted how he had provided thousands of jobs running what he called "a fantastic company".

Meanwhile, Mr Quinn's daughter Colette said the family was planning to take a "huge compensation case" against the Government and that the taxpayer will be left to foot the bill.

Ms Quinn said the family were considering widening their legal battle against IBRC to include the Central Bank and the Department of Finance. The family disputes around €2.3bn of €2.88bn IBRC says it is owed.

Irish Independent

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