Quinns in battle to keep living expenses

Members of Sean Quinn’s family are opposing an application for court orders to stop them receiving any further living expenses out of accounts controlled by receivers appointed over assets linked to Quinn companies.

It is alleged the living expense payments from the relevant accounts are no longer necessary because the financial circumstances of a number of family members have changed “significantly” since the living expense orders were made in 2012.

It is alleged that some of the Quinns have, since autumn 2015, been employed by a company, SMC Products Ltd, incorporated in 2013 and controlled until recently by relatives of the Quinns, while another, Ciara Quinn, has a part-time job.

It is claimed that the Quinns now have sufficient funds in certain of their accounts excluded from the terms of the court orders to meet their living expenses and do not require payments from the accounts controlled by the receivers, appointed by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

The receivers are anxious the pool of funds in the latter accounts be preserved pending the outcome of proceedings against the Quinns, said the receiver’s counsel, Andrew Fitzpatrick.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern yesterday fixed for hearing in mid-June the application by receivers to vary the living expense orders.

The orders were granted as part of the long-running proceedings alleging the Quinns and others were involved in a conspiracy to strip some €500m assets from Quinn companies to put them beyond the reach of State-controlled IBRC after it took over loans made by Anglo Irish Banks to Quinn companies. The IBRC action was initiated in 2011 but, as a result of various criminal proceedings involving former Anglo personnel, is unlikely to be heard until 2018.

Ross Aylward, for the Quinns, said there were no “astronomical” sums involved and the only member of the family receiving payments from the receiver controlled accounts was Aoife Quinn. The salaries being paid to other members of the family are paid into the receivers’ accounts and then paid to the Quinns.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern said the sums involved “may not be astronomical” but this case was about “claims of fraud of the most serious kind”. He did not want a situation to arise where some Quinns, whose assets were frozen, may now be getting not just salaries but also payments from frozen funds.

Mr Aylward said there was “no affront” to anyone here, only Aoife Quinn was drawing down funds from the accounts at issue, this was going on since 2012 and there was no risk or urgency.

Separately yesterday, the judge refused an application on behalf of two Middle Eastern firms aimed at having IBRC mediate its claims that they were centrally involved in the alleged conspiracy to move substantial assets in the Quinns international property group beyond the bank’s reach.


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