State pursuing Quinn assets
The Government is determined to let Ukrainian authorities know that Quinn Group assets belong to the Irish people, Minister of State Brian Hayes said.
His comments come days after the son and nephew of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn were given jail sentences over an asset-stripping plot in Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere.
“These assets in the Ukraine and elsewhere are assets of the Irish people because they are now under the ownership of the IBRC (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation),” Minister of State for Public Sector Reform Brian Hayes told RTE's Week in Politics programme.
“We are determined that that view is known to the Ukrainian authorities. We are determined that these assets can come under the control of the IBRC so that ultimately they can be given back to the Irish people,” he added.
Separately Mr Quinn said he supported steps taken by his family in fighting back against the former Anglo Irish Bank as he "always" stood up to "bullies".
Mr Quinn's statement was made to the Irish Mail on Sunday today.
His son, Seán Quinn jnr (33), was jailed for three months in Mountjoy on Friday for contempt. Gardaí are continuing to search for his cousin, Peter Darragh Quinn, after he failed to show up at court.
"The family have taken steps to fight back, and I fully endorsed their actions. They are standing up to the bank that took everything from them. This is what you do with bullies and is what I have always done," Mr Quinn snr said in a statement.
The bank had “treated us like dogs and have tried to put the entire family out on the road,” he said.
There was a “sinister agenda” against his family which had been "very unfairly criticised by the media in recent years,’ he said.
There was always going to be a commercial dispute between the bank and the family if a commercial deal could not be reached, he said.
"Let’s not forget, it was the government, Department of Finance and Central Bank that decided to unfairly land the taxpayers of this country with unmitigated losses of Anglo and massive legacy issues that would have been expected when nationalising a fraudulent bank," he said.
"The Quinn family never borrowed a cent from the taxpayer," he added.
In a separate statement the Quinn family hit back after the jail sentences were handed out saying the “real perpetrators” continued to walk free.
In a statement issued to RTÉ the family said: “Ireland today is imprisoning people who have been defrauded of millions by banks whom they have never met or never borrowed a penny from, while the real perpetrators continue to walk free.”
Sean Quinn jnr and his cousin Peter, who has a warrant out for his arrest after failing to turn up at the High Court in Dublin for the hearing, were sentenced to three months in prison for trying to hide a €500 million property empire from the former Anglo Irish Bank.
Sean Quinn snr (65) once Ireland’s richest man, was also found guilty of the offence by the High Court in Dublin three weeks ago but was spared punishment for now to give him time to comply with court orders and unravel the moves that carved up the family’s international property empire.
He clutched a handkerchief and bowed his head as the High Court ordered his son to be locked up.
The arrest of his nephew, the son of Peter Quinn, a former president of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), was ordered after he failed to turn up for the hearing, leaving a message that he was sick.
Quinn senior refused to comment on the jail terms as he left the Four Courts in Dublin and told reporters: “Have a good weekend.”
The one-time industry, insurance and property tycoon’s doomed gambles on Anglo have lumbered the family with a €2.8 billion debt and a jailed son.
Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne told the men their contempt of court had been outrageous and that she was unhappy with their lack of co-operation.
Sean Quinn avoided jail but must co-operate with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation within three months.
Sean jnr will serve out the remainder of his sentence at the training unit of Mountjoy prison.
It is a semi-open low security facility.
He and Peter Darragh Quinn will be jailed until the contempt of court in breaching an order not to put €500 million of overseas property assets beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish bank is purged.
Additional reporting: PA