Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Bankrupt tycoon Sean Quinn told to flee after death threat

Bankrupt tycoon Sean Quinn

Bankrupt tycoon Sean Quinn had to hurriedly leave a Good Friday reception after police uncovered a threat to kill him.

Mr Quinn was socialising in his native Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, at the start of the Easter bank holiday weekend when gardai learnt that a death threat had been issued against him.

They immediately made contact with Mr Quinn, urging him to return to his family home across the border in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan.

However security sources confirmed that gardai were investigating the death threat.

A senior garda source said it is not clear who is behind the threat, but the suspects include dissident republicans.

"Given the nature of the intelligence gathered and the profile of the potential suspects, there was no question that the gardai had to act immediately. It was made very clear to Mr Quinn that he needed to return to his home urgently," a source close to the investigation said.

The threat is believed to have emanated from Dublin, as it first came to the attention of Garda headquarters on Good Friday on April 18. The intelligence was immediately passed to gardai in Cavan, who tracked Mr Quinn down to Derrylin.

The death threat issued against Sean Quinn is a new departure in the pattern of violence and intimidation that has dogged his companies since he was ousted from his empire by the former Anglo Irish Bank in 2011. The bank is pursuing the Quinn family for a disputed debt of €2.3bn.

Up until now, the threats have been directed at the new owners of his empire, Aventas, and those who conduct business with it. It is likely the gardai will investigate whether the threat on Mr Quinn's life and those attacks are connected.

Aventas has logged almost 70 incidents of arson, sabotage, intimidation including death threats against senior executives since Mr Quinn was ousted from his business empire in 2011.

In March – a month before the death threat against Sean Quinn surfaced – a businessman in negotiations to buy one of Mr Quinn's former companies received a death threat in the post on the same day that his wife died.

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