Quinn family hoped one day ‘to return as shareholders’ to firm

Sean Quinn jr tells employment appeals tribunal he felt victimised

Sean Quinn junior told an employment appeals tribunal he was currently unemployed but “I believe I am close to recommencing.” Photo: PA Wire

Sean Quinn junior told one of the administrators appointed to the Quinn Insurance in 2010 that he and his family hoped one day to return as shareholders, an employment appeals tribunal has heard.

Mr Quinn, giving evidence to the resumed hearing, said the comment was made by him during a conversation with Michael McAteer a few weeks after he and Paul McCann, both of Grant Thornton, had been appointed.

Mr Quinn told his barrister, Ercus Stewart, that during the meeting with Mr McAteer he was asked not to any longer attend the senior management meetings within Quinn Insurance and recommended that he, Mr Quinn, apply for redundancy.

“I felt I was being victimised and singled out,” Mr Quinn said. He asked for a reason why he should not attend any more meetings, but was not given one. He said he told Mr McAteer he would not apply for redundancy and that it was his and his family’s intention to become involved in the company again as shareholders. “He said that was highly unlikely.”

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The tribunal heard Mr Quinn was on the board of Quinn Insurance and had a salary of €75,000 per year, got annual bonus of 40 per cent, and was also in line for a director's bonus as the end of five years that would total €200,000. He told the tribunal he was head of claims but also conducted project work for Quinn Insurance, and also did regular work for Quinn Cement, Quinn Radiators and Quinn Glass, while being paid only by Quinn Insurance.

He was a 20 per cent shareholder in the Quinn Group, of which Quinn Insurance was a part and which was seized by Anglo Irish Bank in April 2011. Quinn Insurance is now owned by Liberty Insurance while the manufacturing parts of the group have been sold to a number of new owners, including an investor group that includes former Quinn Group management.

Mr Quinn denied that Quinn Group executive Kevin Lunney took over responsibility for claims from him prior to the administrators being appointed. He said Mr Lunney was reporting to him. “I was still the boss of claims.” Mr Quinn said it was not just that he just had board responsibility for claims.

Mr Quinn said he was offered other roles within Quinn Insurance by Mr McAteer but they were at a lower level. Asked if they were at a lower salary, he said Mr McAteer had said to him that they could “talk about that.”

On June 20th 2011, he was dismissed from the company. He said he believed he was the only employee who was compulsorily dismissed. At the time of his dismissal he was out sick and had supplied a doctor’s cert.

Mr Quinn told Mr Stewart that he was currently unemployed but “I believe I am close to recommencing.” He said that from August 2011 to July 2012 he had a role in Russia but had to return the money he received for that following a court order. He also had a role with a construction firm in Northern Ireland between May and July 2012, for which he received £8,000.

The hearing continues.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent