House sale to purge Quinn contempt
Seán Quinn jnr’s and wife’s Castleknock home valued at up to €450,000, court told
Seán Quinn jnr
The son of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn will have finally purged his contempt of court orders restraining asset-stripping from Quinn companies when his Dublin home is sold within the next four weeks, a judge has said.
The comment by Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne comes more than a year after she found Mr Quinn guilty of contempt of an order prohibiting asset-stripping arising from her finding he was involved in a $500,000 (€363,757) payment to the former general director of Quinn Properties Ukraine. He had denied any such involvement.
Since the contempt finding was made, the matter has been before the judge – who has since been appointed to the Supreme Court – several times with a view to purging the contempt.
Yesterday, the judge said that, once the sale of the home of Mr Quinn and his wife Karen Woods at Alder Lodge, Farmleigh Woods, Castleknock, is completed, that will be the end of the contempt proceedings against him.
Earlier, Martin Hayden, for Mr Quinn, told the judge that two valuations of €400,000 and €450,000 respectively had been received from auctioneers for the house.
Mr Quinn’s half of the sale figure will go to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) which had brought the contempt proceedings against Mr Quinn, his father, also Seán Quinn, and his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn.
The judge found all three in contempt of orders restraining asset-stripping from companies in the Quinn’s international property group.
In Mr Quinn Jnr’s case. she ruled there was contempt after finding he participated in a $500,000 payment to the general director of Quinn Properties Ukraine Larissa Puga, on the eve of IBRC’S takeover of that company.
He was jailed for three months for contempt. After serving his jail term, the bank sought that he take steps to repay the money involved in order to fully purge his contempt. To do so, he offered to sell the Dublin house.
Mr Hayden said yesterday Mr Quinn’s 50 per cent share of the sale transaction can be paid as directed by the court.
Ms Justice Dunne said this went some way towards meeting the requirement for Mr Quinn to purge his contempt. While it was not the full amount, it was the best that could be done under the circumstances, she said.
Once the transaction is complete, which was expected within four weeks, the matter should come back before her on December 4th to direct what should be done with the money received, she said. She expected the price to be achieved for the property would be the mean figure of the two valuations, €420,000.
“Assuming that is the position, that will be the end of the matter as far as Seán Quinn junior is concerned,” she said.