Quinn's confidence led to his downfall
His capacity for risk brought him huge rewards but came at a heavy price, writes Special Correspondent Ronald Quinlan
'AT the end of the day, if I was afraid of making decisions or if I was afraid of making money, then I never would have made it. I wasn't afraid to take on Irish Cement, I wasn't afraid to take on Irish Glass, I wasn't afraid to build the Slieve Russell in the back end of nowhere. I wasn't afraid to do these things. So that's the type of animal I am and that's the type of animal I'd like to be again but time is catching up with me now."
Listening to these words from Ireland's one-time richest man Sean Quinn in his interview with Pat Kenny on Newstalk last Thursday morning, I was reminded of Oliver Wendell Holmes's poem, To a Caged Lion, in which the lion, a "poor conquered monarch" is "torn from thy pathless wilds to pace this narrow floor".
Last December, Sean Quinn found himself caged, literally, within the confines of Mountjoy Prison, powerless and unable to purge his contempt of a High Court order to recover some €500m in property assets he and his family stood accused of putting beyond the reach of the IBRC.