Monday 22 January 2018

Maeve Sheehan: Quinns' PR blitz can't hide plan that has backfired

No amount of spin can help family as documents reveal extent of dealings in Russia and Ukraine to hide assets, writes Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

IN their ongoing war with the former Anglo Irish Bank, the Quinn family had a €10,000 a month expense account from which they paid public relations consultants.

Since their bank accounts were frozen by the High Court recently, they have resorted to doing it themselves. Putting a positive spin on what the court called a "scheme of mesmeric complexity and dishonesty" to bury €500m in foreign assets owed to Anglo as part of a €2.8bn debt to the bank, in breach of two High Court orders, is no mean feat. Over the past week, the family has engaged in a public relations blitz that would make their former PR consultants proud.

Last weekend, Sean Quinn Jnr went to jail, his cousin Peter escaped by going on the run to Northern Ireland, while the patriarch, Sean Quinn, walked free. By Saturday evening, a short statement from his four daughters, Colette, Ciara, Aoife and Brenda, pinged into newsroom email accounts. Sean Jnr's new bride, Karen Woods, fresh from visiting him in jail that morning, followed up with one of her own. Over the following days, Sean Quinn rolled out several lengthy interviews, most recently on Shannonside radio on Friday morning, with one of his daughters, Colette.

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