Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Staff fear worst after weeks of waiting . . . and hoping

Today is D-Day for Quinn Insurance workers in Cavan, Navan and Enniskillen after weeks of anxious waiting.

But the ripples from the loss of Quinn jobs will spread out all across the region. President of Cavan Chamber of Commerce, Eamon McDwyer told yesterday of the value of the “Quinn pound''.

For every Quinn job that goes, he says, three more will be hit. Like so many people here, he is linked to the company himself. His uncle Colman Smith works for Quinn Insurance.

“There are 870 jobs in Quinn Insurance in Cavan alone. They set up here in 1996 and are now the second biggest insurer in Ireland and without doubt the biggest employer in Cavan.

“For every job lost in Quinn, there could be a knock-on effect of 2,400 jobs — everyone from pubs, hotels, car businesses and child-minders will be affected if 800 jobs go at Quinn.

“It's never too late in the day to save jobs and I believe that there should be a Cabinet meeting in Cavan. “

Former Quinn Insurance worker and now owner of the adjacent Kilmore Hotel, Ross Mealiff said: “I've owned the hotel here since 2005. I bought it off Sean Quinn who I worked for for 14 years, two of those in Quinn Insurance itself.

“We get a lot of business from Quinn Insurance, some €1.4m a year of our business comes from Quinn workers and 35 jobs here at the hotel would be depending on it so it's a major concern.

“I know Sean Quinn to be a very decent, honourable man. I find it unbelievable that our government would not give him the state guarantee that he needed,'' said Mr Mealiff.

Some workers were close to tears as they left work yesterday.

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