Sean Quinn summoned for November court date

ONE of Ireland’s richest men has been summoned to Killenaule District Court by Judge Terence Finn to answer questions on his company’s policy of providing insurance certificates to customers.

Multi-millionaire Sean Quinn, managing director of Quinn Direct Insurance Company, is to appear at the next sitting of the court on Thursday, November 8.

Mr Quinn, who also bought out BUPA Ireland’s operations, had a summons issued at the previous court sitting following insurance charges brought against Tony McCarthy, Old Granary, Ballysloe, who had secured an insurance certificate from the company, but did not have proper insurance cover.

Mr McCarthy had been before the court in May, but had his case adjourned pending an explanation from the managing director of Quinn Direct.

Judge Finn had highlighted anomalies in the insurance area with Quinn Direct in the past, and upon coming across the defendant’s case at the May sitting of the court, he demanded a summons be issued to bring Mr Quinn to court to explain the company’s position.

Sergeant Martin Walsh of Thurles Garda Station told Judge Finn the summons had been issued through the local gardaí in Mr Quinn’s jurisdiction. However, having discovered the summons was not acted upon, Judge Finn became angry.

The packed courtroom in Killenaule fell silent as he issued a warning to Quinn Direct, Ireland’s third-largest insurance company, which employs 900 people in Cavan, Fermanagh, Dublin and Manchester, and to the gardaí.

As a whole, the Quinn Group employs 2,600 people, with interests stretching from quarries and glass to insurance and hotels. The group — whose motto is Strength through diversity — is expected to make a pre-tax profit of €200 million on sales of €1 billion this year.

Quinn founded a quarrying business after selling sand and gravel from his family’s back garden in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, in the early 1970s.

Quinn is number two in the Irish cement market. Along the way, the cost of insuring a fleet of lorries led him to found Quinn-Direct in 1996. The group owns eight pubs& in Cavan, Dublin and Cambridge. The diversification into hotels and pubs prompted a move into glass manufacturing, and Quinn is the only container glass producer in Ireland.

A British tabloid recently estimated his worth at €850m.

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