Quinn defends moving assets beyond reach of bank
BANKRUPT BUSINESSMAN Seán Quinn has said if the former Anglo Irish Bank wanted to see him jailed he would “accept it”, but said that putting his assets beyond the bank’s reach was “the right thing to have done”.
Mr Quinn also said it was a “an absolute total disgrace” and a “scandal” that his wife Patricia, an “innocent woman”, was “bankrupted” for €3 million.
“She is a housewife, she never read any documentation in her life, she just signed whatever she was asked to sign as 90 per cent of people would,” Mr Quinn said.
He was speaking with his daughter Colette in an interview broadcast on Cavan-based Northern Sound radio station yesterday.
Mr Quinn said he had made a “very conscious decision” to put assets beyond the bank’s reach.
“We thought at the time we were retaining our own assets and they were moving in illegally on those assets,” he said. “There was an onus on us to make some effort to defend ourselves.
“We felt it was the right thing to do and we still feel it was the right thing to have done – unfortunately it finished up in prison,” he said in the interview, which was recorded on Thursday.
He said there had been a “PR campaign against his family” and said a lot of media had fallen “hook, line and sinker for the Anglo story that Quinn is the bad boy and they are the good guys and it’s difficult to turn that”.
Mr Quinn, his son Seán and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn were found guilty last week of contempt of court orders restraining them putting assets in the Quinn group of companies beyond the reach of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo Irish Bank). His son was jailed for three months and an arrest warrant is out for his nephew.
Mr Quinn also spoke about the prospect of going to jail. “If Anglo feels that they haven’t done enough damage to me by taking my money, my company, my reputation, if they want to finish me off by putting me in prison then so be it, I’ll accept that,” he said.
Mr Quinn did not think there was anything further he could do to purge his contempt. He wrote to the bank’s solicitors on Thursday to say “if there’s anything further they want me to do I am happy to do it. If they want me to go to Russia, India, Ukraine, anything they want me to sign.”
Colette Quinn said she had seen her brother in recent days at the Mountjoy Training Unit and he had “settled in very well”. He was “very adaptable” and had “not grown up, despite what people think, with a silver spoon in his mouth”.
Ms Quinn also spoke about last week’s High Court application for living expenses. She said none of the family was asking for €8,000 a month. Her siblings were in negative equity and “expenses that we need to pay are no more than anyone who bought houses”.
Mr Quinn said he would continue to try to redeem the family’s reputation. He was “absolutely convinced they [the bank] are doing everything in their power to destroy us and they’ve done a damn good job of it”, he said.