Quinns to sue Central Bank and Department of Finance

Actions of the regulators relating to the loans will be subject to court scrutiny

Patricia Quinn, wife of businessman Sean Quinn, during a rally in support of Quinn and his family in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan last October. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Patricia Quinn, wife of businessman Sean Quinn, during a rally in support of Quinn and his family in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan last October. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 


The family of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn intend to sue the Department of Finance and the Central Bank over alleged conspiring with Anglo Irish Bank in advancing €2.34 billion unlawful loans to Quinn companies.

The move means the actions of the regulators relating to the loans will now be subject to scrutiny by the courts.

Patricia Quinn and her five children yesterday withdrew their application to join the Department and Central Bank, in their capacity as regulators, as co-defendants in their action against Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo, denying liability for the loans.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly was told the Quinns will now issue separate proceedings against the Department and Central Bank and will apply to the Commercial Court to have that case fast-tracked.

They will then apply to have the similar factual issues in that new case and their case against Anglo case heard together while the different legal issues arising in both cases will be addressed in those two separate cases.

Martin Hayden SC, for the Quinns, said they were taking this course in light of indications yesterday from Paul Gallagher SC, for IBRC, the bank would not object to such similar fact issues being addressed by one judge.

That avoided the possibility of different decisions on such issues if they were decided separately, counsel said.


Separate action
Earlier, in exchanges with Mr Gallagher, Mr Justice Kelly had noted, if the Quinns’ application to join the regulators to their case against Anglo was refused, they had indicated they might bring a separate action against the regulators which could lead to different decisions on similar facts, a situation the courts discouraged.

After Mr Gallagher indicated IBRC could not object if there were an application to have similar fact issues in the two cases heard together, Mr Hayden indicated that might address his side’s concerns and asked for time to take instructions.

After a short adjournment, counsel said they were not proceeding with their joinder application.

Earlier, Mr Gallagher said, while he was representing IBRC special liquidator Kieran Wallace and not the regulators, Mr Wallace was not conceding the Quinns had any valid claims against the regulators.

In seeking to join the regulators, the Quinns had alleged they had conspired with Anglo in its advancing some €2.34 billion to Quinn companies from 2007 for the unlawful purpose of propping up its share price.