Business as usual after Quinn protests


It was business as usual yesterday in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan and Derrylin, Co Fermanagh following Monday’s protests by some workers at Quinn businesses.

Patricia Gilheany of Concerned Irish Citizens, one of the main organisers of the support rallies held for the Quinn family said although she had no involvement in the workers’ protests, “it showed the strength of feeling in the area for Seán Quinn and that the community are seriously annoyed”.

Gardaí in Ballyconnell said Monday’s protest was a low-key affair with no public order offences or arrests made.

“Obviously it is a very sensitive issue at the moment and many of the workers feel strongly about the situation with Seán Quinn. People in the area are worried about their jobs and concerned about their livelihoods,” a Garda spokesman said. “Many of the workers have sympathy for Seán Quinn and it seems to have been a statement of that.”

He said the main road in Ballyconnell was kept clear and the entrances to Quinn Cement and Quinn Packaging were blocked off. The protest was from 7am to 12.30pm. “There was no antagonism between gardaí and protesters and it passed off peacefully,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Quinn Manufacturing Group said: “Yesterday’s event, whilst annoying and totally unjustifiable, had a low impact on production. Only a handful of employees were involved in the activities; in fact we have had many messages from employees throughout the businesses specifically disassociating themselves from the action.”

“The organisers clearly have little interest in the welfare of our employees, in the preservation of jobs in this community or in the continuation of the very substantial contribution these businesses make both directly and indirectly to the economic health of these localities.”

Seán Quinn’s parish priest, Fr Gerry Comiskey, visited him in Mountjoy prison on Monday.

“I am aware of the palpable anger in the area and fully understand the need for people to congregate and talk following the incarceration and recent events. I would say again to the workers to not be shortsighted or do anything that would jeopardise livelihoods,” he said.