Quinns to focus on ‘illegal’ info

The Quinn family is planning on focusing its defence on what it says is the illegal means used by the liquidators of IBRC to obtain information alleging they hid hundreds of millions in assets.

A spokesperson for the Quinns said they had not yet been able to meet with their legal team but would be looking at all options in relation to Friday’s revelations.

“We will be considering all options but the fact that the liquidator is paying for information which has most likely been obtained illegally is something we will be looking at,” the spokesperson said.

The liquidators said in court documents that the informants who obtained the information in relation to the Quinns likely did so improperly.

The emails and documents allege that a banker acting on behalf of the Quinns purchased €300m worth of gold, moving €200m to an account in the Virgin Islands.

The informants stood to make 3% of any undisclosed Quinn family assets retrieved as a result of their information.

To prove they were serious in their offer, IBRC liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamon Richardson lodged €100,000 into an escrow account.

The scheme to offer money in return for information on the Quinns’ assets got the approval of the Department of Finance.

While the State purchasing alleged illegally obtained information appears to be dubious, Fergal Crehan, a barrister specialising in data protection, said the Data Protection Act has at least two clauses that protects the State in its actions.

“If it was a criminal case, the gardaí would be looking for emails, There is no way that they would be paying for them. That the State is involved stinks, but I can’t point to any law that they are breaking. The Data Protection Act gives them two get-outs,” he said.

Mr Crehan said that Quinn Insurance itself had not been above using similar tactics when it came to fighting insurance claims in the courts.

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