Seán Quinn has said he regrets “every day” the mistakes that brought his empire down but is “100% convinced” his family has been wronged.
Formerly the wealthiest man in Ireland, Mr Quinn is being pursued for loans of €2.8bn by Anglo.
He spent nine weeks in jail last year for contempt of court in relation to a scheme that put the family’s €500m international property empire beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank.
In an interview with Pat Kenny on Newstalk, he said the family empire had spread to 12 or 13 countries in the five years “up until it was taken from us”.
“I feel very hurt. I feel very sad. I feel it was very badly handled. We were a very successful company... a hugely profitable operation. All of a sudden, I stupidly got involved in buying shares in Anglo Irish Bank... I regret that and I feel stupid. I feel stupid that I had too big a shareholding and that I got too involved in Anglo Irish Bank and I regret that.”
He said that while he made mistakes, he was never afraid of making decisions or making money.
“God gave me a gift in making money, he gave me a gift of making money and creating employment in one of the poorest areas in Europe, I thought it was a great gift to have. I expanded it, sometimes stupidly... Money was never a God for me, success was and achieving things, employing people, creating wealth, creating something for the area. That was always my ambition — that was always my target.
“Did I lose sight of it sometimes and did I stray off? Yes I did but I wouldn’t change anything. At the end of the day, if I was afraid of making decisions or of making money then I would never have made it.”
He said he was not ashamed of his actions and felt the courts would vindicate the Quinn family.
“Moving assets and handing them over to strangers is not something I ever done before. It’s not something I’d want doing but, at the end of the day, if you see somebody is taking your assets, taking your family’s belongings, you’re going to try and do something and that’s what we done. Whether it was right or whether it was wrong, it can’t be undone.”
He also admitted he was in regular contact with his nephew Peter Darragh Quinn, who has an outstanding bench warrant for his arrest, but would not advise him to come back to the Republic to face his contempt of court charge.
“Petey found himself in an impossible situation... He is making his own judgement, I wouldn’t advise Petey one way or the other.”
Mr Quinn also denied he or his family leaked the Anglo tapes and said they were “of little interest” to him.
“The tapes are of very little interest to me and the family, because the tapes are at the small end of where we’re going. Where the family are going is... is much deeper than that, so the tapes are only on the periphery,” he said.
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