Quinn would 'accept' jail term

Fri, Jul 27, 2012, 01:00

Bankrupt former billionaire Sean Quinn has said if the former Anglo Irish Bank wanted to see him jailed he would “accept it” but he maintained that putting his assets beyond the bank’s reach was “the right thing to have done”.

Mr Quinn also said it was a “total disgrace” and a “scandal” to order his wife Patricia to repay €3 million to the bank. She was a “housewife” and “she just signed whatever she was asked to sign", he said.

He was speaking with his daughter Colette in an interview broadcast on Cavan-based Northern Sound radio station this morning.

In the interview, which was recorded yesterday, Mr Quinn had made a “very conscious decision” to put assets beyond the bank’s reach.

“We felt it was the right thing to do and we still feel it was the right thing to have done…unfortunately its turned out very badly and it finished up in prison” he said.

The bank treated them “very badly and there was an onus” on the family to “defend ourselves”, he said.

Mr Quinn would “continue and intend to try and "redeem our reputation" in some way”.

“If Anglo feels that they haven’t done enough damage to my 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 also spoke about his son Seán Quinn jnr, who is currently serving a three-month jail sentence after a judge found he was in contempt of court orders preventing him from putting assets in the Quinn group of companies beyond the reach of  Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IRBC), formerly Anglo Irish Bank.

The father and son were both “close to tears” as Sean Quinn jnr was jailed, he said.

Colette Quinn said she had  in recent days seen her brother , who is at the Mountjoy Training Unit, and he had "settled in very well” in jail. While it was “not what he’s used to”, he was “very adaptable”, she said. Of all the family, his imprisonment was “hardest on Mammy”, she said.

Mr Quinn also spoke of the lack of action by politicians to assist him.

In 2010, when his company as placed into administration, no politicians felt “in a position to overrule Matthew Elderfield (financial regulator) and I respect that,” he said.

“Governments don’t normally make good commercial decisions. They normally make decisions to keep themselves safe rather than making courageous decisions,” he said.

He also spoke of what he called the PR campaign  against his family. 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 its difficult to turn that”, he said.

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