Quinn gets nine weeks for contempt of court

 

Dublin, Ireland

Bankrupt Irish businessman Sean Quinn, once the country's richest man, was sentenced Friday to nine weeks in jail by a Dublin court.

Judge Elizabeth Dunne made the ruling in Dublin after a contempt-of-court hearing related to efforts to move some of his family's property beyond the grasp of Irish Bank Resolution Corp., formerly known as Anglo Irish Bank Corp. Quinn was scheduled to begin serving his sentence Friday while pursuing an appeal, said his lawyer, Eugene Grant.

"It is not disputed that significant assets worth millions of euros have been put beyond the reach of the bank," the judge said. Moving the assets is "nothing short of outrageous — it is a serious contempt of court."

The jailing caps the downfall of the former cement-to- insurance empire tycoon, whose demise mirrors the collapse in the country's property boom that pushed the country to the brink of bankruptcy. Quinn was declared bankrupt in January, two months after a court ruled Quinn owed IBRC 2.16 billion euros ($2.78 billion). Quinn was worth about $6 billion in 2008, according to Forbes magazine.

Quinn gave his backing to efforts to place assets outside the reach of nationalized IBRC, Dunne said Friday, a matter for which she found him, his son, who is also named Sean, and his nephew Peter Darragh Quinn in contempt in June. Dunne said she had no choice but to sentence the elder Quinn to prison, even after taking his charitable work and medical condition into account.

Quinn said he wanted to "get on" with his prison term before being taken into custody.

"I did stupid things," Quinn told reporters, saying that IBRC "took my companies, my reputation and they put me in jail."

Quinn's fortune had its origins in a sand quarrying operation he set up in 1973 on his father's farm just over the Irish Republic's border in Northern Ireland. The Quinn family still has support in the area, where his companies provided employment. National broadcaster RTE said 5,000 people turned out for a rally to support Quinn in nearby County Cavan last month.

Quinn Group said in April 2010 that the Quinn family's debts were "due primarily to equity losses of circa 3 billion euros." The losses largely stem from Quinn's investment in Anglo Irish through financial derivatives called contracts for difference.

Dunne rejected a request by Quinn to attend a christening in December. Quinn is entitled to seek compassionate leave, though that is a matter for the prison service, she said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
cricketBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
News
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing