Bank would seek Quinn bankruptcy in Republic


QUINN CASE:STATE-OWNED IRISH Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) will immediately seek to have Seán Quinn declared a bankrupt in the Republic if the High Court in Belfast annuls his Northern Ireland bankruptcy, the High Court in Belfast was told yesterday.

Gabriel Moss SC, for the former Anglo Irish Bank, was addressing Mr Justice Donal Deeny, who reserved his judgment at the end of yesterday's hearing. Judgment is likely in the new year.

The bankrupt billionaire was not placed under surveillance by IBRC, a senior executive with the State-owned bank told the court. Richard Woodhouse agreed the bank had asked a company called RMI, which it used to serve papers on Mr Quinn, to "observe" a former tyre factory in Belturbet, Co Cavan, from which it had been told Mr Quinn was operating.

"We did not enter the premises or follow anyone," Mr Woodhouse told the hearing. "There was no tailing" of Mr Quinn or any member of his family. Mr Woodhouse said he had received information from the media and noted from a blog on the GAA's website that Mr Quinn was apparently setting up a new business from the Belturbet building.

Mr Woodhouse heard reports Mr Quinn and lieutenants of his were seen at the building and that it was being kitted out as offices. He believed Mr Quinn might be working on creating a new insurance business, to be called Q2.

Mr Woodhouse contested the suggestion from Mark Orr QC, for Mr Quinn, that IBRC had set up a meeting with Mr Quinn in Dublin in April 2011 so he would not be in the Quinn Group headquarters in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, on the day the group was seized by a team of people acting for a share receiver appointed by the bank.

The court heard IBRC chairman Alan Dukes contacted Mr Quinn's Co Fermanagh offices on the day before the seizure and invited him to a key meeting in the IBRC offices in Dublin the following day.

However, Mr Woodhouse said Mr Quinn was due to be in Dublin that day anyway, as were a number of Quinn Group staff, for the submission of a petition concerning treatment of the group by the State and the holding of a number of protests.

Mr Woodhouse said the bank was owed "an obscene amount of money" and had to secure the asset for the bank.

The bank is seeking to have Mr Quinn's bankruptcy status annulled on the grounds his centre of main interest is his home in Co Cavan. Mr Quinn has said he is operating from an office in an industrial estate in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh.

Mr Quinn has produced a lease dated May 2011 for the Derrylin office, but Gabriel Moss QC, for the bank, has suggested it is a "back-dated lease, manufactured" for the purposes of the argument being made by Mr Quinn to the courts. He said the lease was not mentioned, as it should have been, when Mr Quinn was applying for his bankruptcy.

William Gowdy, for the Official Receiver's Office, said the address of the industrial estate was different to the address in Derrylin used by Mr Quinn when he applied for bankruptcy in November.