Belfast Telegraph

Mixed emotions among Quinn workers

There were mixed emotions among Sean Quinn's loyal workforce as it emerged he will no longer have any role in his prized Quinn Group.

Relieved to have kept their jobs, they also mourned for the man who brought employment and investment to the forgotten border counties.

Colum Courtney, based at Quinn Insurance in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, said: "On a human level it is good news for workers that their future is secure and their jobs are safe.

"But at a local level, for the people who have close connections with Sean Quinn and have seen what he has done across the area, it's devastating. I wouldn't have a job in Fermanagh and people couldn't have come back from abroad if it wasn't for him. and we're grateful for that. It's a sad day for the Quinn family."

Meanwhile, Caroline Forde, a regional claims manager with Quinn Insurance in Cavan, was left reeling at Anglo Irish Bank's decision to appoint a receiver to the group. "We're devastated," she said. "We think this is the worst, not only for the insurance, but for the group and for the entire area."

Ms Forde, who ran as an independent candidate in the recent general election, is one of Mr Quinn's strongest supporters.

She said there would be no future for many people in the border region if Quinn closed down and fears commitments by Government and Anglo to keep jobs is a false promise.

"There's no loyalty there to the border area," she continued. "Who's to say in six months, 12 months, there'll be a review of business and we no longer need the border area."

Aine Donnelly, workers' representative in Enniskillen, said staff were shocked but relieved when the news broke.

"It's been a tough last year for us and there is relief that all our jobs have been saved," she said. "We are obviously devastated for Sean Quinn and his family, and it's going to take a while for it all to sink in for employees. But this is the news we have been waiting for. It's been difficult for people. The one thing we all wanted was our jobs and thankfully we have got that now."

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