Quinn accused of ‘destroying his empire’

Businessman Sean Quinn himself caused the destruction of the Quinn family companies and wealth as a result of investing in Anglo Irish Bank shares on the stock market which later fell in price, it was claimed in the High Court yesterday.

Counsel for Anglo Paul Gallagher SC told Mr Quinn it didn’t accept his claims the bank had “robbed” him and his family of their wealth, pride and dignity. “You lost money because you began directly investing in the stock market through contracts for difference and the share price went down.”

“You know what happened,” Mr Quinn said.

A court case by his family was pending over the matter and he would not say any more than that, he added.

When Mr Gallagher put to Mr Quinn he was personally fined in 2008 for taking €200,000 out of Quinn Insurance, Mr Quinn said he was wrong to have done that.

Mr Quinn denied his anger and “misplaced grievance” against Anglo (now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) led him to direct, and participate, in alleged stripping of assets of companies in the Quinn family’s international property group (IPG) after the High Court granted orders in June and July 2011 restraining any such measures.

Mr Gallagher put to Mr Quinn he was so angry with Anglo when his companies were taken from him he felt he was justified in taking any action to protect what he regarded as personal assets. Mr Quinn was “the patriarch” of the family and the man “in overall control” and there was no question this would have happened without him, counsel said.

Mr Quinn said he had agreed measures should be taken to move assets beyond the reach of Anglo, but he was not involved in directing any such measures after Apr 14, 2011, when IBRC appointed share receivers over Quinn companies.

“I never breached any injunction in my life and I never will.”

The cross-examination of Mr Quinn concluded yesterday and he will be re-examined today in the hearing before Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne of the bank’s application for orders for attachment and committal of him, his son Sean Junior and nephew Peter.

As Bill Shipsey SC, for the Quinns, told the judge, his side is not cross-examining those who swore affidavits for IBRC, it is expected no further evidence will be called and the case will be adjourned to next week to let sides prepare written submissions on legal issues.

The three Quinns deny contempt of the June and July 2011 orders restraining dissipation of assets in the IPG and have claimed steps to put assets beyond Anglo’s reach were taken before those orders were granted.


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