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Quinn takes Jr's seat in jail poker school

FORMER billionaire Sean Quinn has taken his son's place in a regular poker game at the Training Unit in Mountjoy jail, the Herald can reveal.

One of the last things Sean Sr requested before beginning his nine-week sentence for contempt was a pack of cards.

And millionaire businessman Paul Begley, controversially jailed for six years for his part in a €1.6m garlic import scam, is one of those trying to take his money.

The importer's stake money comes from his current earnings -- a few euros for working at the Training Unit's tuck shop.

A game of poker with friends was always a regular weekend pastime for Quinn (66).

Sources indicate that since he entered Mountjoy last week the former billionaire has taken up with those who befriended his son during his spell inside.


But the poker group might need to look for new players as two members are nearing dates for leave to appeal against the length of their sentences.

Begley is to have his appeal heard on December 3. Last March, Begley (46) of Woodlock, Redgap, Rathcoole and the head of Ireland's largest fruit and vegetable producers, was jailed after he admitted avoiding paying higher custom duty/tax on over 1,000 tonnes of garlic imported from China, by having it labelled as apples.

The Training Unit is currently accommodating a 'club' of white-collar convicts.

Along with Quinn and Begley is John Hughes, who has been jailed for VAT offences.

Car dealer dealer Hughes (55), from Cula Road, Bray was jailed for four years by Judge Martin Nolan for failing to pay more than €220,000 in VAT on second-hand vehicles.

His appeal against sentence is due to be heard on Monday.