IBRC asks Supreme Court for Quinn decision overturn

Decision permits family of Sean Quinn advance claims which could lead to their avoiding liability for €2.34 billion loans

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation

(IBRC) has asked the

Supreme Court

to overturn a decision permitting the family of bankrupt businessman


Sean Quinn

advance legal claims which could lead to their avoiding liability for €2.34 billion loans.

Patricia Quinn and her five children say they had no knowledge of activities surrounding the loans made to Quinn companies by IBRC's predecessor, Anglo Irish Bank. They claim the loans were illegal because they were used to support the bank's share price and they cannot therefore be made liable for them.

In the High Court in 2012, Mr Justice Peter Charleton, who is now in the Supreme Court, ruled that the family were entitled to advance claims that the loans were made for "wholesale" market manipulation in breach of Irish and European law.


Mr Justice Charleton rejected Anglo’s argument that EU and national law had “ringfenced” the issue to the extent courts cannot prevent enforcement of an illegal contract. The court ruled that the family could make claims the loans were advanced in breach of market abuse regulations and company law.

The Quinns say the facts of the case entitle them to avoid share pledges and guarantees provided by them on foot of which IBRC sought to recover the loans and appointed a receiver.

IBRC argues the High Court was wrong to find the Quinns could rely on the “general principle of illegality” in support of their bid to avoid liability.

The Quinns also claim negligence by the bank, unconscionable conduct and that undue influence was used on them to sign certain documents.

IBRC contests all the claims made by the Quinns.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times