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Quinn's claim to be bust is all made up says bank

BUSINESSMAN Sean Quinn will find out tomorrow if Anglo is entitled to summary judgment orders for more than €2bn against him.

The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo) is seeking the orders against the businessman who filed for bankruptcy in the North earlier this month.

Northern Ireland's Official Receiver in bankruptcy indicated yesterday he has "concerns" about the accuracy of Mr Quinn's claims that he has no creditors other than IBRC.

He asked Mr Justice Peter Kelly to adjourn the bank's summary judgment proceedings because IBRC's application to the Northern Ireland courts to annul the bankruptcy is due before the courts on Thursday.

Paul Gallagher, for IBRC, strongly opposed any adjournment and said there was no defence to its claim for summary judgment against Mr Quinn and the granting of that judgment would have no impact on matters in Northern Ireland.

The bank claims Mr Quinn's bankruptcy is contrived. Its application to annul it will be mentioned before the High Court in Belfast on Thursday, but a hearing is unlikely to occur before next year.

In those circumstances, Mr Gallagher told Mr Justice Kelly the bank believed the Commercial Court should proceed to grant summary judgment.

After hearing from Mr Gallagher and also from Bernard Dunleavy, for the Official Receiver, the judge reserved his decision until tomorrow.

The bank's summary judgment proceedings were initiated just nine days before Mr Quinn filed for bankruptcy in Belfast.

IBRC contends it has information concerning Mr Quinn's centre of interests which was not before the Northern courts. It claims the information indicated that Mr Quinn's bankruptcy was contrived as the Northern Ireland bankruptcy regime is more lenient.

In his bankruptcy petition, Mr Quinn alleged his centre of main interests is in Northern Ireland because companies of his are registered at Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, and he is domiciled for taxation there.

In its summary judgment proceedings against Mr Quinn, the bank is seeking repayment of some €2bn arising mainly from the businessman's guarantees of loans to companies in the Quinn group. The bank is also claiming €3m summary judgment orders against Mr Quinn and his wife Patricia arising from personal borrowings.

Mr Gallagher said it was the bank's case that given the terms of the guarantees and obligations he entered into, Mr Quinn had no defence to summary judgment. He added that in his bankruptcy proceedings, Mr Quinn himself had admitted liability for sums of more than €300m.

Mr Dunleavy said the Official Receiver believed, before summary judgment was entered, the matter should be allowed to come before the Northern Ireland courts on Thursday so that normal respect between courts could be observed.

He said the bankruptcy had been registered here and it was unusual, in the face of an order which seemed to be valid, that the bank wanted to proceed regardless.

The bank would not be prejudiced by an adjournment as, even if it got summary judgment, it would still have to prove its debt in Northern Ireland and could not execute the judgment while the bankruptcy stood.

hnews@herald.ie


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