Belfast Telegraph

Quinn 'victim of economic crisis'

Former tycoon Sean Quinn has said he is one of many victims of Ireland's economic collapse and should not have believed the politicians and banks who promised the boom would last.

The man, who was once the richest in Ireland, spoke out at the close of a legal challenge by the former Anglo Irish bank to overturn his bankruptcy in Northern Ireland.

The bank, nationalised under the title the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) following its dramatic slide into crisis, is pursuing Mr Quinn for billions in the Irish Republic and has argued that is where his business is based.

But his lawyers told the High Court in Belfast that, having seen Mr Quinn forced from his former company's longstanding office in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, in Northern Ireland, the bank was now claiming his base is his home in Co Cavan in the Republic.

Mr Quinn branded the legal case as "stupid" and said: "If I am bankrupt, I'm bankrupt."

He blamed previous governments who he said "have made the mess" and said the collapse of the Republic's economy affected many people, adding "there was an awful lot of victims".

"People like me were foolish enough to get stuck in the height of it, and borrowed too much money, believed in banks and believed in institutions, believed the country was going to continue to expand," he said.

"And of course I was wrong and tens of thousands of other people was wrong, but maybe not to the same extent that I was."

He voluntarily filed for bankruptcy in Belfast last month, claiming his business was based in Co Fermanagh, on the northern side of the Irish border.

The businessman's multibillion-euro empire collapsed over the last two years on the back of massive stock market gambles on the share price of the Anglo Irish bank.

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