Council sends letter of support to Quinns

Wed, Aug 8, 2012, 01:00

FERMANAGH DISTRICT Council will today be posting a letter of support to bankrupt businessman and Fermanagh native, Seán Quinn.

The council voted on Monday night to send a “very short letter” to the Quinn family, a spokeswoman said yesterday, about the same time as Dublin’s High Court was hearing details of massive losses incurred by Quinn Insurance.

The motion, proposed by Independent councillor Bernice Swift, was passed unanimously by the remaining 22 councillors, which break down into nine SF, six UUP, four DUP and three SDLP representatives.

The letter reads: “In light of the significant contribution by the Quinn family to the economic and community wellbeing of Fermanagh and the Border area, the council took the decision to write, acknowledging that this was a very difficult time for the family.”

Grassroots support for the beleaguered Quinns remains high in counties Fermanagh and Cavan, where brothers Peter – a former GAA president – and Seán Quinn built a sprawling business empire, creating thousands of jobs in the process.

Following last month’s proceedings in Dublin’s High Court, Seán Quinn Jr and his cousin, Peter Darragh Quinn, were given three-month jail terms for contempt of court. The former is in prison; the latter fled across the Border and remains at large in the North.

Seán Quinn Sr avoided a custodial sentence but was ordered to co-operate with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation – which replaced the former Anglo Irish Bank – within three months.

Several thousand people, including well-known figures from the GAA, the Catholic Church and the Irish business community, recently attended a rally in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, in support of the Quinns.

Not everyone, however, supports the family. An Enniskillen-based businessman, who did not want to give his name, told the Irish Times that people did not necessarily support their actions, but were “afraid to speak out”, such was the influence of the family in the local community.