Car set alight in driveway of Quinn Group CEO

The car which was attacked in an apparent arson attack last night was parked in the driveway of Quinn Group CEO Paul O'Brien's home in Co Meath, it has emerged.

Car set alight in driveway of Quinn Group CEO

The car which was attacked in an apparent arson attack last night was parked in the driveway of Quinn Group CEO Paul O'Brien's home in Co Meath, it has emerged.

A BMW jeep was parked close to the entrance of the Foxlodge Woods housing estate in Ratoath when it was set on fire at about 11pm.

Nobody was in the car or the nearby home at the time, but the house was badly damaged, as was the neighbouring property.

It follows a spate of acts of vandalism on property belonging to the Quinn group.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information to contact Ashbourne garda station.

The Quinn Group – formerly owned by Sean Quinn, once Ireland’s richest man - condemned what it described as a terrorist attack.

“The perpetrators of this attack have been behind a series of incidents aimed at damaging Quinn Group property and machinery,” a spokesman said in a statement.

“The incidents began almost immediately after the appointment of a share receiver to the group last April and the removal of Sean Quinn as chairman.

“The personal nature of this cowardly attack represents a serious crossing of the line.”

Gardaí in Ashbourne have appealed for anyone who witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the vicinity to contact them.

Phil Flanagan, Sinn Féin MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, said the arson attack was a sinister and disgraceful act.

“How anyone could possibly attempt to explain this is completely beyond me,” he said.

“Those behind this action need to think long and hard about what they are doing.

“This is way beyond any cause that could ever possibly be justified.

“This latest attack is a major escalation from the previous acts of vandalism that have been carried out on property belonging to the Quinn Group; this is an attack on a man, his family and their personal belongings.”

Mr O’Brien was appointed as chief executive after Anglo Irish Bank appointed a share receiver and controversially stripped Mr Quinn of his mighty cross-border business empire.

The nationalised bank seized the tycoon’s prized Quinn Group as it chased €5bn of family and company debts caused mainly by catastrophic share deals.

The deal ensured the vast majority of the 4,200 jobs in the manufacturing and insurance wings were safe for at least five years.

But since then vandals have targeted Quinn property at sites across the North, causing tens of thousands of euros worth of damage.

“All of the incidents which have taken place since April last are clearly aimed at destabilising the group’s businesses and putting the livelihoods of thousands of Quinn workers at risk,” the spokesman continued.

“The board of the Quinn Group is determined that the perpetrators of these attacks will not succeed and we have the full support of all employees, local community leaders and elected representatives in this regard.

“We will not be intimidated by the actions of a small group of thugs and vandals and would ask anyone who has information about their actions to contact either the Gardai or the PSNI.”

Mr Flanagan described Mr O’Brien as a decent, straight talking man who has the retention of the existing jobs within the Quinn Group as his main motivating factor.

“In these tough economic times, it is difficult enough to run a business without this type of carry-on and people need to realise that if it is not Paul O’Brien who is CEO of the Quinn Group, then someone will simply be put in his place, and they may not have the same interest as Paul does in protecting these jobs,” he added.

“He needs our support to do this, not personal attacks like this.”

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