Belfast Telegraph

Quinn's business 'life sentence'

Debt-hit tycoon Sean Quinn claims he has been hit with a life sentence after being stripped of his mighty business empire.

The entrepreneur insisted he could pay back billions owed to the Irish state if left in control of his multinational.

Ireland's richest man at the height of the boom also claimed the Quinn Group would create more jobs if he and his family were left in charge.

The self-made billionaire lost complete control of the huge insurance, industrial, leisure and property portfolio last week over a 2.88 billion euro debt racked up betting on Anglo Irish Bank shares.

In his first statement on the personally devastating outcome, Mr Quinn suggested his punishment was "a life sentence".

"The decision by Anglo last week to appoint share receivers was the greatest upset for me and my family in my entire business career," Mr Quinn said.

"My colleagues and I have spent the past year developing a proposal that is economically sustainable and which would allow us to discharge fully all of our family's obligations to the Irish taxpayer."

Mr Quinn accepted where it went wrong - listening to forecasts from experts and buying into Anglo.

"Our mistake was to place an over-reliance on the Irish banking system and the many predictions for continued sustained growth in the Irish economy from some of the country's leading financial services experts," he said.

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