Quinn family to take ‘huge state compensation case’

The family of former billionaire Seán Quinn have said they plan to take a “huge compensation case” against the Government and the taxpayer will be left to foot the bill.

Colette Quinn told the Anglo-Celt newspaper the family were considering widening their legal battle against the former Anglo Irish Bank to include the Central Bank and the Department of Finance.

The family disputes around €2.3bn of the €2.88bn Irish Bank Resolution Corporation says it is owed by the family.

The latest salvo in the battle between the family and the bank came as Seán Quinn returned to jail after being granted compassionate release for Christmas.

Quinn, 66, turned up for readmission to Mountjoy prison’s training unit at 7.40pm, 20 minutes before his deadline, after three and a half days of freedom at his Cavan home.

The family have taken their case against the former Anglo bank alleging €2.234bn loans were made to Quinn companies for the unlawful purpose of propping up the bank’s share price. The case was scheduled to begin in the Commercial Court next April but earlier this month the DPP asked for the case to be delayed because of criminal proceedings against former Anglo directors.

Colette Quinn said: “Realistically the family see ourselves before the courts for at least the next three years. If we are successful in our cases, and I believe we will be, that will leave it open for us to take a very large compensation claim, not just against the bank, but also the regulator and the Department of Finance. It’s the taxpayer who will lose out.

“It’s very important to establish, this was never our preferred option. What has happened and where this has all come to, this was the bank and the regulator who brought it to this stage.”

The Quinns’ legal team told the Commercial Court earlier this month they were considering joining the Central Bank and the Department of Finance to their case.

In response Mr Justice Peter Kelly said any move to join the Central Bank and the department would “change the whole landscape” of the case. The court also heard that the DPP wants the case deferred because she believes that the family action raises issues overlapping with issues in forthcoming criminal proceedings against former Anglo executives.

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