Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Tycoon Quinn's daughter sacked during maternity leave to sue firm

The daughter of Northern Ireland businessman Sean Quinn is set to sue Quinn Insurance after a bitter dispute over her recent sacking intensified.

Ciara Quinn had threatened to ask the courts for an injunction against her "unlawful, discriminatory" sacking during her 52-week maternity leave so she could return to work last Tuesday as planned.

But sources close to the Quinn family last night confirmed that Ms Quinn was no longer pursuing a return to work and was instead preparing to sue both the insurer and one of its administrators, Michael McAteer.

Her decision to sue and abandon her efforts to return to Quinn Insurance comes after Mr McAteer last week admitted the company had not engaged in discussions with Ms Quinn before her sacking.



The admission was made in an email to all 1,600 Quinn Insurance staff and followed an initial email where Mr McAteer had referred to the dismissal of a "former share- holder".



In his first email, which came the day this newspaper published details of Ms Quinn's sacking, Mr McAteer said Quinn Insurance's approach was "always" to "seek to discuss any employment issues with an employee" and that dismissal was only pursued "as a last resort".



The email is believed to have prompted a swift response from Ms Quinn's lawyers, who claim no such discussions were sought with her prior to her P45 being dispatched.



Mr McAteer then sent all employees a further email on July 19 clarifying that "in the case I was referring to in my email of 1 July 2011 such discussion did not occur as it was not appropriate in the very particular circumstances".



Mr McAteer was on annual leave yesterday and could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for Quinn Insurance said she had "no comment" to make on the latest developments.



Meanwhile, the Quinn Group last night condemned last weekend's arson attack on a tarmac plant, deeming it an "attack on the security of jobs and employment in the area".



The attack, where some five vehicles were set on fire, is the latest in a long line of disturbances that has marred the Quinn Group since Anglo Irish Bank's acrimonious takeover of the conglomerate in April.



Source Irish Independent

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