Peter Quinn denies family split over son's effort to avoid jail
PETER QUINN, brother of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn, has denied there is a split in the family over his son Peter Darragh’s attempt to avoid jail.
“There is one thing about the Quinns. We have never split on any issue and we won’t split on this issue. We haven’t split on this issue. Were probably one of the closest families in the country,” said Mr Quinn, a former president of the GAA.
“Sure, Peter’s north of the Border, Seán’s in jail. They both made the decision to go,” he told the BBC Radio Ulster programme Sunday Sequence yesterday.
Mr Quinn said his son had not seen any reason why he should go to jail.
Peter Darragh Quinn (33) was sentenced in his absence last month to three months in jail for contempt of court after failing to turn up at court in Dublin.
Peter Quinn snr said his son had “made an attempt to purge his contempt” and had contacted Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly Anglo Irish Bank, twice. The bank did not want to help his son “because they wanted blood, they wanted his blood as part of it but they got Seán’s”, he said.
Seán Quinn jnr was jailed for three months after the High Court ruled the two, along with Seán Quinn snr, had failed to comply adequately with court orders aimed at reversing measures stripping assets worth millions of euro from the Quinn family’s international property group.
When Seán Quinn jnr was asked by his father if he would go to jail, “he said he’d go if that was in the best interests of the [Quinn] group”, Peter Quinn said.
Last weekend, Peter Darragh Quinn was seen at two GAA matches in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. Police in Northern Ireland are unable to detain him even though a warrant was issued in Dublin for his arrest. Peter Quinn snr previously said his son will not return to the Republic.
Mr Quinn also spoke of the media coverage and the family’s battle with IBRC. He said “abuse by the media” was the “hardest part” for him “by a mile”.
“The reality is that Anglo have won the PR war,” he said. The media had “convicted the Quinns of things we didn’t do”, he said.
“I’m not saying the Quinns have clean hands on everything . . . that’s a claim no businessman or woman can ever make,” he said.
There was a “conspiracy” by the Government, the Department of Finance and IBRC, who “need a scapegoat” to explain what happened to the country, he said.
They had “made a scapegoat of the most successful businessman in the history of the country”.
He said his brother was “an obvious scapegoat” because he had borrowed money from the bank, was “an outsider”, “from the Border”, “doesn’t speak with a Dublin accent” and “hasn’t any education”.
Yesterday, Fermanagh native Fr Brian D’Arcy said he had met Peter Darragh Quinn and had told him “this will all have to be resolved in accordance to justice in its own good time”.
Fr D’Arcy defended his attendance at last weekend’s rally to support Seán Quinn at Ballyconnell, Co Cavan.
“I went there not as some big public figure. I went there quite simply because I’m a neighbour. I’m from this area, this is my area. It’s a priest’s duty to be in the area. I was asked to be there,” Fr D’Arcy said on RTÉ radio yesterday.
Because a priest was with people in trouble “does not mean and never has meant he is in support of wrongdoing”, Fr D’Arcy said. “I am in favour of the institutions of the State,” he added.