Belfast Telegraph

Quinn unaware of nephew's location

Bankrupt billionaire Sean Quinn has insisted he does not know the whereabouts of his on-the-run nephew, who has been pictured in his native Fermanagh.

Peter Darragh Quinn was photographed with his father, former Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) president Peter Quinn, at a match on Friday - one week after a judge in Dublin ordered his arrest and imprisonment. His cousin Sean Quinn junior remains in Mountjoy's Training Unit, where he is serving a three-month sentence for contempt of court.

Quinn Snr, 65, claimed he has no idea where Peter is despite speaking to his father several times this week.

"I got as big a shock when PD wasn't in court," said Quinn, who said there had been no fallout when they signed legal papers ahead of the court hearing.

He told This Week on RTE Radio: "Peter was absolutely convinced that no matter what he done, Anglo were not going to agree to it. And he wanted desperately to purge his contempt. He got a wee bit scared... PD just said to himself there's no answer to this, this is not going anywhere."

The three Quinn men were found guilty of contempt of court for hiding millions of euros of assets from the former Anglo Irish Bank. Quinn senior, once Ireland's richest man, was an industry, insurance and property tycoon whose doomed gambles on Anglo shares lumbered the family with a 2.8 billion euro debt and a jailed son. The pensioner was spared prison to give him time to purge the contempt and unravel the moves that carved up 500 million euro of the family's international property empire. But gardai cannot execute a warrant for Peter if he is outside the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland.

Later, thousands of people brought Ballyconnell to a standstill with a mass rally in support of the Quinn family. Several major GAA names from both sides of the border led young and old, many carrying posters calling for the release of Sean Jnr.

An emotional Sean Quinn Snr, his wife Patricia, three of their children and extended family members, including Sean Jnr's wife Karen, were at the demonstration. "The Quinns always stick by each other," he said. The former tycoon thanked his staff for their service and their help in building the empire he grew by working hard on his behalf, but criticised those against him. "An untrue story is being told," he added.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte also stood by the Quinns, who at one stage employed 7,000 people - many in the border counties. "You know decent people when you meet them. The Quinns are decent people," he said.

Elsewhere Father Brian D'Arcy compared Anglo, rebranded as the IBRC, to the institutions of the Catholic Church. "The main reason I'm here tonight is because as Christians and good neighbours we have a right, a duty, to stand by our families and neighbours when they are in trouble," the outspoken priest said. "And nobody will take that away from us."


From Belfast Telegraph