Belfast Telegraph

Sean Quinn playing an 'important' role within former business

By Audrey Watson

Failed Fermanagh tycoon Sean Quinn still has an "important" role in the construction and packaging businesses of the former Quinn Group, according to its newest boss.

The company's construction industry supply and packaging businesses were sold to Quinn Industrial Holdings Ltd (QIHL) in December 2014.

And QIHL said yesterday it had since created 74 new jobs and had seen turnover increase by 20%. But it would not reveal the amount turnover had hit.

The new posts bring the number of QIHL employees to a total of 750.

Company managing director Liam McCaffrey, who was Mr Quinn's right-hand man before his boss was removed from the firm by Anglo Irish Bank, told the Belfast Telegraph that the former richest man in Ireland's knowledge was "unrivalled".

Mr McCaffrey added that he was "delighted" to announce the creation of the jobs and said he expected to announce more good news on employment and investment in the near future.

"It's been a positive time overall since the acquisition," said Mr McCaffrey.

"A major effort has been made to refocus the business towards a rapid return to profitability and growth. 

"We have a very experienced team in the business now, and we have been very fortunate to have the benefit of Sean Quinn's experience through his role as a consultant.

 "We've made a significant investment in staff and will be commencing a rolling plant and equipment reinvestment programme in the coming months.

"Mr Quinn comes into the office every day, and together as a company we are striving to move the business forward."

The majority of the new jobs are at the company's base in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh.

They have been created across the company at a range of levels, including its graduate and apprenticeship schemes, which were re-launched in July.

"The company has always had a tradition of bringing young people through the ranks," said Mr McCaffrey. "Given its growth since being re-established in 2014, we felt that the time was right to re-introduce what has been a successful programme in the past."

The managing director also revealed that the growth in turnover was not due to improvements at home.

"While the construction industry in Ireland is not yet back on its feet, in the rest of the UK, it's very different," he said.

"Our 20% increase in turnover is mostly from business in England, Scotland and Wales, where things are on the up.

"Developers and construction firms know that our products and skills force are second to none, which gives us an edge over firms that are maybe closer to hand."

QIHL is also in the process of improving its in-house building information modelling capability, which will be used in support of its building and construction product range across the UK and Ireland. 

The company has its roots in the original business of the Quinn Group, which was founded by Sean Quinn in 1973.  

Its manufacturing facilities are based in Fermanagh and Cavan, with a distribution facility in Rochester, Kent, which handles bulk cement export.  

QIHL in Derrylin was formed last year after buying construction and packaging business Aventas, a company which was established by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly known as Anglo Irish Bank.

Belfast Telegraph