Quinns may seek to question liquidator

The Quinn family may seek to cross-examine IBRC special liquidator Kieran Wallace about the manner in which the commercial court was told of proceedings taken in the US and UK following allegations by unidentified “informants” the family may be hiding up to €500m in undisclosed assets. 

The family, who have described the informants’ claims as “scurrilous lies”, may seek to cross-examine Mr Wallace about the matter after they have studied various documents put before the US and UK courts, their counsel, Charlotte Simpson, said.

There were no grounds for a cross-examination and, should such an application be brought, it would be firmly resisted, Paul Gallagher for IBRC, said.

Ms Simpson yesterday moved an application before Mr Justice Peter Kelly arising from the family’s complaints IBRC put the informants allegations before the court on May 30 without giving the Quinns advance notice the bank intended to do so.

The Quinns were particularly concerned because the allegations received enormous publicity in the media on May 30 and over that weekend before they had an opportunity to respond in court when litigation involving the parties was mentioned on June 2, counsel outlined.

She noted the judge previously said the Quinns were entitled to see all the documents put before him on May 30 and said this application was aimed at ensuring they had all such materials.

They had also sought IBRC’s consent to their being given a copy of the court’s digital recording of the May 30 proceedings and the bank indicated it would consent after this application issued.

In an affidavit, Niall McPartland, a solicitor and husband of Ciara Quinn, said the family believed the May 30 application was made so as to ensure court privilege here for the allegations made in the US and UK courts by the bank’s “so-called informants” and to gain a litigation advantage over the Quinns by casting them “in a bad light”.

The family also believed IBRC, or persons acting for it, had notified the media of its May 30 application.

Certain information provided by the informants was “quite clearly and quite simply wrong”, he said. IBRC had also stated on May 30 the content of certain emails related to the US proceedings were likely to be produced within a week but the family were advised, due to privacy laws in the US, that was not the case and disclosure of such emails would require further proceedings in the US which had not been initiated.

The family may seek cross-examination of Mr Wallace about his affidavit sworn for the May 30 hearing, about the “real reason” this matter was opened before the Commercial Court and the manner in which journalists were told about it, he added.

Paul Gallagher SC, for IBRC, said it strongly rejected the claims the May 30 application was “most unusual and unorthodox”. The application was part of the bank’s obligation to apprise the court, at the earliest possible opportunity, of matters in the US and UK courts affecting the Irish court’s orders freezing accounts and assets of the Quinns, he said.

Due to gagging orders imposed on the US and UK proceedings, May 30 was the first opportunity the bank had to apprise the court, he said.

While Mr McPartland had said none of the emails referred to by Mr Wallace were sent to or from the Quinns, he had not said the emails were not sent to people acting on behalf of them, counsel said.

The judge heard IBRC was consenting to the Quinns having all the documents sought after they undertook that some of those documents, related to the UK proceedings and covered by data protection legislation, will be used only for the litigation involving themselves and IBRC and not disclosed to other parties.


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