Monday 18 December 2017

Smiling Sean makes point of shaking hands with Anglo chief

The scene

Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

Sean Quinn had his back to the wall.

But that was only when he was sitting down with a wee cup of tea in his hand at the cafe attached to Belfast's Royal Courts of Justice, affectionately dubbed the wedding cake in these northern parts.

Flanked by his son-in-law Niall McPartland, the mythical businessman from Derrylin in Co Fermanagh strode into the Chancery Courts yesterday morning as the icing on the cake, with a mile-wide smile.

Taking his seat beside a host of executives from his nemesis Anglo -- now known as the IBRC -- Mr Quinn made a point of shaking hands with its new head of corporate projects, Richard Woodhouse.

It was a cordial gesture, but how cordial the fraught lender-borrower relationship remains will be tested this morning when Mr Woodhouse is cross-examined by Mr Quinn's lawyers.


Mr Quinn has remained largely silent on the IBRC's bid to bankrupt him in Dublin where he would face restrictions for up to 12 years compared to just one year across the border.

But now it seems that Hamlet may have no prince after all.

Late in the afternoon, the IBRC said that it did not intend to call Mr Quinn -- whom it has accused, amongst other things, of bankruptcy tourism -- to give evidence.

There was plenty of complex talk of EU insolvency regulations and the intricacies of one's centre of main interest -- not necessarily where your live or you have created debt, apparently.

But it was more than compensated by ever increasing insights into the dynamics of the Quinn Group and Mr Quinn himself.

According to reports, Mr Quinn wants to be back in business within a year, but who would extend credit to a man with a €2bn debt burden, the IBRC wondered?

For the taxpayer, footing the bill for the near collapse of Ireland's banking sector, every light shed on this sorry saga is a welcome one.

But we have a long way to go yet before the Quinn/Anglo narrative is complete.

Irish Independent

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