Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

I'm finished, says former richest man in Ireland Sean Quinn

Sean Quinn
Sean Quinn

Sean Quinn - once Ireland's richest man - has admitted his business career is over after he was declared bankrupt in the Republic.

The global trawl to recover lucrative properties owned by the Quinn Group will now intensify after the Fermanagh-born businessman was bankrupted by Anglo Irish Bank.

Yesterday Mr Quinn conceded defeat and withdrew opposition to a bankruptcy petition filed by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly Anglo Irish Bank, in Dublin.

He repeated claims that the IBRC was pursuing a vendetta against him and his family, who have accused the now State-owned bank of market abuse.

In a statement issued after the High Court bankruptcy order was confirmed, Mr Quinn said the IBRC had "achieved their goal of ensuring that I will never create another job".

It came just days after his bid to file for voluntary bankruptcy in Belfast was rejected.

Mr Quinn, who did not attend court for the brief hearing, will be barred from acting as a company director for up to 12 years, with legal experts predicting that, owing to Ireland's harsh bankruptcy regime the bankruptcy could follow him "to the grave".

Ireland's former richest man, who had been ordered to repay €2.16bn (£1.8bn) to the IBRC, must now apply to a court official for permission should he ever wish to leave the Republic.

And he could see all or part of any income he earns in the future, including his pension, docked to repay his massive debts.

Mr Quinn must declare any borrowings over €650 (£537) and will face a comprehensive asset trawl that could see transactions such as the transfer of shares or properties set aside by the courts.

Debtors in the UK can emerge from bankruptcy after just one year - and this has prompted a wave of bankruptcies in England and Northern Ireland by major Irish debtors.

Mr Quinn, who previously said he was planning to get back into business, will be entitled to trade in his own name, but will not be able to own or manage a firm.

The former tycoon accused the IBRC of pursuing "a personal vendetta" against him.

The IBRC has denied that it has embarked on a legal course to destroy Mr Quinn's business prospects. It said that its singular focus was to recover as much as possible from the remaining assets over which the bank has legal security.

What now?

Sean Quinn must make himself available to the court official charged with taking over control of his financial affairs

His wife Patricia and five children are awaiting a decision on whether they can formally accuse Anglo of lending them money it shouldn't have.

Patricia Quinn awaits her day in court to appeal a judgment ordering her to repay a €3m (£2.5m) loan to the IBRC.

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