Sunday 17 December 2017

The making of the young Quinn

A tiny country lane lined with brambles and barbed-wire climbs high above Sean Quinn's empire on the Cavan-Fermanagh border. It is sign-posted 'scenic view' -- an irony not lost on nearby residents because the panorama it overlooks today has been changed into one of the most industrialised landscapes in rural Ireland.

Not that anyone in the community would complain out loud. Since the day their local legend started digging up the drumlins and turning gravel into gold in this forgotten corner of the island, they have been only too willing to sacrifice the splendour, shape and silence of their countryside in exchange for a job.

Today, as they confront the crushing reality that the man who was their saviour recklessly gambled with their futures, there is an air of life going on as normal in Quinn Country, epitomised by a solitary wheelie bin outside his sprawling mansion.

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