Dublin judge orders arrest of bankrupt Sean Quinn's nephew after court no-show
A nephew of bankrupt ex-billionaire Sean Quinn is facing arrest after failing to appear for sentencing in a contempt hearing.
Peter Darragh Quinn was found guilty of the offence along with his uncle and the former tycoon's son Sean Junior by the High Court in Dublin three weeks ago.
After signing off on an affidavit between 2am and 3am today explaining his appearance on a video from a Kiev restaurant where he said lying to court would not "overly worry" him, he failed to turn up.
Lawyers for the Quinns revealed that a voicemail had been left on a solicitor's phone at around 10am this morning stating that he was sick and unable to attend the sentencing hearing.
There have been repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact Peter Darragh Quinn since the message was left, the court was told.
He had been due to appear in the packed courtroom 12 of the Four Courts in Dublin where Judge Elizabeth Dunne is hearing arguments before deciding whether to jail the three men for contempt.
Paul Gallagher, senior counsel for the former Anglo-Irish Bank which is chasing the Quinns' 500 million euro (£389 million) international property empire, said it appeared the men were happy to go to jail for a short time and keep their assets.
Sean Quinn senior, once Ireland's richest man, ran up debts of 2.8 billion euro (£2.18 billion) with the lender - since rebranded the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation - after he was allowed to borrow huge sums to buy shares in the bank.
He was using the money to try and recoup losses from complex and secret stock deals known as contracts for difference in the bank's dying days and weeks.
Judge Dunne issued a bench warrant for the 34-year-old's arrest after failing to get reasonable explanations for his absence.
She said that if accountancy graduate Mr Quinn was genuinely ill gardai could exercise their discretion and then report to court.
The court heard that he had sworn an affidavit between 2am and 3am this morning and was described as "OK" at the time.
A voicemail stating that he was too sick to attend court was left on a solicitor's phone at 10.15am and since then several unsuccessful attempts to contact him by phone, text and email by his father and sister have failed.
Mr Quinn Senior, dressed in a navy suit and purple tie, appeared relaxed before the hearing started, alongside his son Sean who was dressed in a navy suit and tie.
Mr Gallagher told the court he could show a very disturbing development in the contempt lawsuit which had been secretly filmed in a restaurant in the Ukrainian capital Kiev in January.
The meeting shows Peter Darragh Quinn and Sean Quinn Jnr, on video, as they discussed trying to transfer a company and move cash through Amsterdam, with Peter saying that lying to a court would not "overly worry" him.
Mr Gallagher said an affidavit from the defendants explaining the footage was "wholly inadequate" and attempted to minimise what was done.
The Quinns have given notice that they plan to appeal to the Supreme Court the finding of contempt.
They were found in contempt of a court order from June 2011 which bound them not to keep assets from the bank as it sought to recoup debts.
udge Dunne said she noted that Peter Darragh Quinn was not too sick to sign off on his affidavit at 4am this morning.
After a lawyer for Anglo raised the issue of an arrest warrant being issued, the judge warned that without a reasonable explanation soon for his absence it would be the only way of getting him in court.