Belfast Telegraph

Tears of a tycoon as daughter declares war on the bank that 'tore our lives apart'

By Greg Harkin

The Quinns have issued a “declaration of war” on the bank it is battling for control of its business. And they will win that war against Anglo Irish Bank, a daughter of fallen tycoon Sean Quinn vowed.

Addressing a crowd of more than 7,000 supporters in the Co Cavan town of Ballyconnell last night, Ciara Quinn said her family was confident of winning its case against the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly known as Anglo Irish Bank.

She was speaking at a highly-charged rally which ended with tears streaming down the face of bankrupt billionaire Sean Quinn.

The former tycoon was flanked by family and friends.

He will be back before the High Court in Dublin on Friday, where he faces jail for a contempt conviction for his role in putting assets beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank, now IBRC.

The family are caught up in a legal battle with Anglo over €2.8bn (£2.3bn) worth of debts and have taken a counter-case against the bank.

Quinn, his son Sean jnr (33) and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn were found guilty of breaching court orders to stop putting up to €500m (£402m) worth of property assets beyond reach of the bank. Sean jnr is appealing imprisonment. Peter Darragh is on the run in Northern Ireland.

Well-known GAA figures including Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, Donegal selector Rory Gallagher (right) and former association president Peter Quinn (Sean Quinn’s brother) spoke at the rally, which was organised by the Concerned Irish Citizens group.

Sean Quinn sat alongside his wife Patricia on the back of a lorry, the makeshift stage for the event.

They heard Ciara Quinn claim that the companies once owned by her family were being run down.

She said: “It is heart-breaking for me and my family to watch the destruction of our companies.

“We were a very private, hard-working family who never courted media attention but our lives have been torn apart as has our life’s work. Anglo is now spending millions of euro of taxpayers’ money on a PR campaign against us.”

But Ciara Quinn insisted the family would win.

She vowed: “Some day our war with Anglo will be over, and make no mistake about it for this is a war. We will not go quietly into the night, we will go back to work, we will be back in business, we will create jobs again and we will succeed.”

Mickey Harte, referring to media coverage of his appearance at the last rally, said he travelled last night for two reasons.

“One of those was to prove to myself that I’m not delusional,” he said to loud cheers. “I’ve come here of my own free will because the Quinn family deserve our support. There has been a selective view of what has been going on.”

All-Ireland winning coach Gallagher, originally from Belleek, told the crowd he was there because he is a close personal friend of Sean Quinn jnr.

He called his friend “truthful” adding: “The Quinn family are honest people, they are ordinary people and they are loyal people.”

Messages of support were read out from former Ireland rugby star Shane Byrne as well as GAA figures including Sean Boylan, Colm O’Rourke and Joe Kernan and priest Father Brian D’Arcy.

Mr Quinn’s brother Peter Quinn launched a scathing attack on the media.

The accountant claimed journalists have failed to investigate the collapse of the Quinn Group because “they’re relying on State advertising”.

Mr Quinn and his wife Patricia broke down as prayers and a poem were read for their jailed son.

As the event ended, Sean Quinn snr climbed off the lorry to shake hands with well-wishers, tears streaming down his face.

He marched down Ballyconnell main street in the direction of his home, smiling as supporters patted him on the back.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph