Belfast Telegraph

Judge rejects 'fishing expedition' to name Quinn trust donors

By Alan Erwin

Seven donors to a trust funding former billionaire businessman Sean Quinn's legal bills allegedly have clear connections with his family, the High Court has heard.

A judge yesterday was also told one of those on a list of contributors is a high-profile businessman in the Republic of Ireland.

Details emerged as a receiver seeking to locate any Quinn assets was refused permission to pass newly discovered information to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) in Dublin.

The application was made in an attempt to obtain more information for ongoing proceedings in Northern Ireland.

But Lord Justice Girvan rejected the application after describing it as a "fishing expedition".

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.

A list of 34 individuals and companies have been identified as having contributed funds to the Erne Group Trust.

The trust, set up in 2012, has reportedly paid nearly €1.7 million towards the cost of the Quinn family's litigation and associated fees in the Irish Republic.

Although the donors remain publicly confidential, an order was previously made for their names and amounts contributed to be disclosed to the receiver. He has issued court proceedings in an attempt to clarify the situation surrounding the trust.

Seeking authorisation to provide information to the IBRC, counsel for the receiver argued that it would help gain a better understanding about the Quinns' "Byzantine" links.

Referring to the list of donors, Stephen Shaw QC said: "He finds that seven in particular will have a clear, tangent and cogent connection with the family Quinn."

Opposing the application, Mark Orr QC, for representatives of the trust, argued the case was not a public inquiry.

He said most of those on the list were business contacts who had dealt extensively with Mr Quinn over decades. "One in particular has a high profile in the Republic," Mr Orr said.

Denying the bid to pass details to officials in Dublin, Lord Justice Girvan told the parties to be ready to continue the case in January.

Belfast Telegraph


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