Belfast Telegraph

Sean Quinn speaks out on hate campaign against successor

Ousted tycoon Sean Quinn yesterday broke his silence on Monday night's arson attack against the home of the new Quinn Group boss, saying he had "no knowledge whatsoever of any unlawful acts" and had already called on agitators to cease their campaign.

The comments came after Quinn Group chief Paul O'Brien took to the airwaves to call on Mr Quinn to "renounce and condemn" the attacks.

In a lunchtime radio interview, Mr O'Brien claimed he was "flabbergasted" that Mr Quinn had refused a previous request by the Quinn Group board to condemn the attacks.

Hours later, Mr Quinn's spokesman issued the businessman's first public statement on the campaign of intimidation and sabotage that has been waged against Mr O'Brien since he joined the Quinn Group in April following its controversial takeover by Anglo Irish Bank.

The comments made no specific reference to the attack on Mr O'Brien's home, where arsonists doused two cars with flammable liquid, causing a BMW to explode and damaging the home of Mr O'Brien and a neighbour.

Mr Quinn said he wanted to assert that he had "no knowledge whatsoever of any unlawful acts in relation to individuals or property associated with the Quinn Group other than what I have read in the media".

The Fermanagh-born entrepreneur also said that he had already condemned the "reported acts of sabotage".

This condemnation came in a meeting with PSNI chief inspector Sue Steen "several weeks ago", he said.

In his statement, Mr Quinn confirmed that he had refused a May request from the Quinn Group's chairman to condemn the acts of sabotage because there "was a clear inference that I was interfering in the business".

Background

Sean Quinn was once Ireland's richest man but now has debts of around €5bn (£4bn). In 2008 he was fined for using an inter-company loan to fund a 15% stake in Anglo Irish Bank. Last year Quinn Insurance was put into administration because its liabilities outweighed its assets and this year Anglo Irish took control of the rest of Quinn Group.

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