Belfast Telegraph

'Family connections' among donors who pay Quinn legal bills

By Alan Erwin

A list of donors to a trust that pays former billionaire businessman Sean Quinn's legal bills includes family and commercial connections, the High Court has heard.

Counsel for a receiver seeking to locate any assets also claimed there were "arithmetical discrepancies" in the newly disclosed information.

But a judge was told no clear link can be made between the Quinns and those making financial contributions.

More than 30 individuals and companies have put funds into the Erne Group Trust.

The trust, set up in 2012, has reportedly paid nearly €1.7m towards the cost of the Quinn family's litigation and associated fees in the Republic. Once Ireland's richest man, Fermanagh-born Mr Quinn lost control of his business empire when it collapsed six years ago.

Receiver Declan Taite was subsequently appointed by IBRC, formerly known as Anglo Irish Bank, to identify assets.

He has now brought court proceedings in an attempt to clarify the situation surrounding the trust.

Although a list of 33 donors remains publicly confidential, Lord Justice Girvan had ruled that their identities must be disclosed to the receiver.

Following that direction counsel for Mr Taite told the court that a schedule of "key information", including names, addresses and amounts, was made available.

Stephen Shaw QC said: "We have, on the information received, noticed arithmetical discrepancies."

An analysis of the data contained on the list shows "close family connections, siblings in particular", he claimed.

Mr Shaw also contended that a second type of commercial connections has been recognised by the receiver.

Seeking an adjournment, the barrister said more time was needed to explore the information.

Mark Orr QC, for representatives of the trust, described some of the donors as close business acquaintances of Mr Quinn.

Mr Orr added, however, that he was not aware of any siblings being on the list.

With those featuring on the list set to be identified by numbers to ensure their anonymity, Lord Justice Girvan agreed to adjourn the case for a further review in September.

Belfast Telegraph

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