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Quinn's no working class hero ...his gambling cost us €738m

I SAW Seanie Fitz last week, ducking into an office beside me, beaming smile firmly in place.

It struck me that a man who has caused so much damage to this country shouldn't look so chipper, and that his apparent imperviousness to the hardship he has caused marks him out as the most shameless twat in Ireland.

Then I remembered Sean Quinn.

Unlike Seanie Fitz, Quinn has always liked to portray himself as a working class hero.

He was involved in touchy-feely businesses like insurance and healthcare, things that make us better, rather than property which used to make us richer.

He had grown the family business up over 37 years, amassed vast wealth, yet continued to live in Cavan. He boasted in a newspaper interview about how he lived "a simple life".

His favourite leisure activity was poker and, once again playing his 'man of the people' card, restricted all bets to 50c so no-one wouldlose more than €5 in a night.

Of course, recent events have revealed why Sean didn't gamble big money on his private poker games; he saved that for the property and stock markets -- especially in Anglo Irish Bank -- in which he invested billions in the hope of increasing his already monumental pile of chips.

"My mistake was to place an over-reliance on the Irish banking system, and the predictions for continued growth by the country's leading financial experts," was Quinn's excuse -- a simple, poor country man led astray by city slickers in sharp suits, you see...


Yet, back in April, Sean was still assuring the plain people of Ireland that: "My colleagues and I have spent the past year developing a proposal which would allow us to discharge fully all of our family's obligations to the Irish taxpayer."

Last week, the green light was given for Irish taxpayers to bail out Sean Quinn's insurance company to the tune of €738m.

That's our money, being used to pay off the debts which Sean racked up in a few short years, not because his company's core business was hit by the recession, but because he pumped all its money into bank shares and property in order to make himself even richer.

As if we couldn't think less of Sean Quinn, now comes the claim that, following the ignoble tradition of property developers who transferred assets to family members to stop NAMA getting hold of them, Quinn stands accused of having done likewise.

A cousin allegedly was given a €125m office block in return for just €1,000, while it is claimed his son-in-law swapped his laptop for a Quinn-owned company worth €13.5m.

A source close to the Quinn family described Anglo's latest revelations as an attempt to blacken Quinn's name.

But it's hard to know why Anglo would bother to do this -- after all, Sean Quinn, through his naked greed and pathetic attempts to make himself out as a victim in this sordid tale of greed and reckless gambling, has managed to do that by himself.

Sean used to brag about how his games of poker took place in humble surroundings: "I play cards in a house at night where you have to go out into the front street to go to the toilet," he claimed. It's an appropriate image when you consider that Sean continues to this day to piss in public. All over the Irish taxpayer...