Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Bid to overturn Sean Quinn bankruptcy

Sean Quinn

A bid to overturn the bankruptcy of Sean Quinn, once the richest man in Ireland, will be heard next month, a Northern Ireland court has ruled.

Ireland's former Anglo-Irish bank, which says the 64-year-old owes around 2 billion euro (£1.7 billion) in the Irish Republic, will have its case heard on December 19 and 20.

The Northern Ireland court challenge by the lender, now rebranded Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, comes as legal proceedings are continuing in Dublin.

The court also ordered that Mr Quinn make himself available for the December hearing in case he is required to testify.

Mr Quinn voluntarily filed for bankruptcy in Belfast earlier this month, arguing he was resident in Co Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and his business was centred there.

Belfast's Chancery Court today heard that Mr Quinn has been ordered by Dublin's Commercial Court to pay 417 million euro (£359 million) to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IRBC)

But a decision on the outstanding claim of 1.6 billion euro (£1.4 billion) has been delayed.

IBRC had said it would challenge Mr Quinn's declaration of bankruptcy in the UK.

Today Mark Horner QC, representing the bank, told Judge Mr Justice Donal Deeny that the matter was one of "considerable urgency".

"It is absolutely critical this is dealt with as soon as possible," the lawyer told the court.

Paul McLaughlin, representing Mr Quinn, said time was required to compile information on how the former tycoon's business operated.

The judge said: "Perhaps we don't need a long history of the affairs of these companies."

Mr McLaughlin replied: "I think it is going to be unavoidable."

Mr Justice Deeny said the case would be heard on December 19-20 and said this should give sufficient time to the legal teams.

The businessman's multibillion-euro empire collapsed over the last two years on the back of massive stock market gambles on the share price of Anglo.

At the time of his bankruptcy the IBRC said Mr Quinn and his family owed the Irish state 2.9 billion euro (£2.5 billion) and challenged his claim of UK residency.

Mr Quinn lost all control of his business in April.

Before his downfall, his story was a classic rags-to-riches tale.

He began his career with a £100 loan to dig gravel on his father's farm.

At the height of his success, the man dubbed "The Mighty Quinn" was worth a reputed 4.72 billion euro (£3.7 billion).

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