Bankrupt tycoon Sean Quinn says he'd take son's place in Mountjoy
Sean Quinn said yesterday that he would trade places with his son, who is serving a jail sentence for hiding millions from Anglo Irish Bank. And the former billionaire also admitted that he believes there is a desire to see him behind bars.
"I believe my son is more innocent than anybody," Sean Snr said. "I'll do whatever they want me to do."
Mr Quinn told the BBC he had not seen his nephew, Peter Darragh Quinn, "since last Friday". He continued: "He found himself in a situation where he knew they wanted him in prison. They knew he couldn't purge the contempt.
"He knew there would be no upper limit on the contempt -- that's what scared him. The fear of jail concerned him more than me or Sean."
Mr Quinn was quoted in the Irish Independent earlier this week, appealing for his nephew to "face the music" and hand himself in.
"I created a lot of employment and wealth in this region," he said yesterday. "To take that away from me unlawfully, I feel I would be sidestepping my responsibility by not defending myself. I feel an obligation to defend my principles, my family and my region from the injustice that has been done."
Asked if he felt there was a desire to see him behind bars, Mr Quinn replied: "I do."
Meanwhile, Mr Quinn and his family have found an ally -- their local GAA club.
The Teemore Shamrocks Gaelic Football Club, based in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, issued a statement on its website on Monday, offering the club's full support of Sean Quinn Snr, his son Sean Quinn Jnr and Peter Darragh Quinn.
The club is urging "fellow Gaels, sports people, community people, and those who have crossed paths with members of Quinn family in the past" to support them "against their unreasonable and outrageous treatment".
The statement read: "We, the members of Teemore Shamrocks GAA Club, want to express our distress and annoyance at the jail sentence issued to fellow GAA members, Sean Quinn Jnr and Peter Quinn Jnr and the position imposed on Sean Quinn Snr by the Irish Courts.
"We cannot express enough gratitude to the Quinn family for what they have done for our community over the years and we wish to express our continued support to all members of the Quinn family."
The club members also stated that they believed the Quinn family "have been dealt an injustice from the day their businesses were placed in receivership".