Thousands turn out for Cavan rally to support Seán Quinn
THOUSANDS OF supporters of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn turned out in force in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, last night for a rally that was also attended by senior figures from the GAA.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, former Meath manager Seán Boylan, player Colm O’Rourke and Fr Brian D’Arcy addressed the crowds, estimated at between 3,000 and 4,000.
A letter of support was read out from Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary.
Mr Quinn yesterday insisted his family had not fallen out with his nephew Peter Darragh Quinn, who is wanted in the Republic for contempt of court. He was photographed attending a GAA club game in Kinawley, Co Fermanagh, on Friday.
In a radio interview broadcast yesterday, Seán Quinn said his nephew was in an “extremely difficult situation” and that he understood why his nephew had not handed himself over to authorities.
Mr Quinn, his son Seán Quinn jnr and Peter Darragh Quinn were recently found guilty of contempt of court orders restraining them from putting assets beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank. While his son was jailed for three months, an arrest warrant is out for Mr Quinn’s nephew. Authorities in the Republic are powerless to force his return as he has left the jurisdiction.
The Garda last night declined to comment, except to say an arrest warrant remained in force.
In an interview with RTÉ’s This Week programme, Seán Quinn did not criticise his nephew for failing to hand himself over to authorities.
“Petie has made his decision, I respect his decision . . . I can easily understand it. To be put in a situation he is in is an extremely difficult situation,” Mr Quinn said.
He said he had been in contact with his nephew’s father but had not asked about his nephew’s whereabouts. “Peter was absolutely convinced that, no matter what he done, Anglo were not going to agree with him. He wanted desperately to purge his contempt,” he said.
Another photograph at the weekend, which appeared to show Mr Quinn’s son, Seán jnr, playing poker in Mountjoy Prison, was published in a newspaper yesterday. The Irish Prison Service was unavailable for comment on the matter.
Mr Quinn also said in yesterday’s radio interview – recorded earlier in the weekend – that it was now impossible to pay back what the former Anglo Irish Bank was seeking given that he no longer owned the Quinn Group or its associated companies.
He said he had always planned to pay whatever money was legitimately owed to Anglo Irish Bank. At one point, he said, the Quinn Group was valued at about €4 billion and was making close to €600 million a year.