Belfast Telegraph

GAA backs promotion of rally for Quinns

By Greg Harkin

The GAA has risked more controversy by approving a county board move to promote a rally in support of bankrupt billionaire Sean Quinn.

Some fans at the Fermanagh county final in Enniskillen were surprised to hear the public address system used to advertise a new public rally in support of the Quinn family.



Several thousand fans packed into Brewster Park on Saturday to watch Tempo defeat Lisnaskea by eight points in the championship decider.



Sean Quinn Snr and his wanted nephew Peter Darragh Quinn were both at the game.



At half-time in the match an announcement from the group Concerned Irish Citizens was read out to the crowd.



It called for fans to attend a rally in support of Sean Quinn in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, on October 14, urging them to "oppose the injustices against the Quinn family".



The former billionaire was a generous patron of Gaelic games in the county during his 40 years in business.



The scoreboard at the ground still has an old 'Quinn Group' hoarding attached to it.



However, in a surprise move, the GAA last night gave its blessing to the Fermanagh County Board for allowing GAA facilities to be used.



A spokesman at Croke Park said the announcement was "non-party political" and therefore not a breach of any GAA rules.



The advertised rally has been rescheduled. It had been due to go ahead last month but was postponed following the death of Fermanagh player Brian Og Maguire. The Lisnaskea player died as a result of a workplace accident at the former Quinn premises in Derrylin.



At a rally in the summer the attendance of senior GAA figures from across Ireland led to criticism of their support for Mr Quinn.



The 'Justice for the Quinn Family' rally will have several other groups in attendance.



Organisers of the October 14 rally say 'People for Economic Justice' and 'The Anti Eviction Task Force' and a number of other organisations will support the Quinns.



A spokeswoman claimed the rally will be "written into the history books".



She added: "Concerned Irish Citizens is growing in popularity and is expanding at an incredible rate and is now fast becoming a force to be reckoned with.



"Injustice, bullying, intimidation and downright corruption can only prevail if enough good people do nothing. It is very clear to us that there are more than enough good people who are not prepared to facilitate further harassment and corruption such as that being dished out to the Quinn family and many others."



The group claims to have raised €2m toward the Quinn family's legal costs.



The rally will take place six days before Sean Quinn Snr is due back in court to answer contempt charges.



His son Sean Jnr will be released this week to attend his Supreme Court appeal.



He was jailed for what was described as "outrageous" contempt of orders by the High Court restraining an asset-stripping scheme.



The judge had found that Sean Quinn Snr, his son, and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn, had failed to adequately comply with a series of orders requiring the men to stop stripping assets from the Quinn family's IPG.

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