Seán Quinn jnr and IBRC ordered to pay own legal costs of contempt appeal


The Supreme Court has ruled that Seán Quinn jnr and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation must each pay their own legal costs of Mr Quinn’s appeal against being jailed arising from findings of contempt of court orders restraining from stripping of assets from his family’s international property group.

The five-judge court ruled yesterday that as both sides had won issues in the appeal, they should each pay their own costs.

Last month, by a four-to-one majority, the Supreme Court had upheld findings of contempt against Mr Quinn and also upheld the imposition of a three-month jail sentence on him over that contempt.

However, all five judges found the High Court was not entitled to find he had breached 30 coercive orders aimed at reversing a wide ranging of asset-stripping measures when there were no actual findings he was involved in most of those measures.

They also found the High Court could not jail him indefinitely for breach of those orders. Those findings led yesterday to the Supreme Court making no order for costs of the appeal before that court. A High Court order for costs of contempt proceedings in that court against Mr Quinn was also stayed pending the final outcome of those proceedings.

Mr Quinn and his brother-in-law, Niall McPartland, were in court for the costs hearing.

Also yesterday, Mr Justice Frank Clarke reserved his decision on an application by Shane Murphy SC, for IBRC, to set aside the judge’s decision referring a legal issue raised by the Quinns to the European Court of Justice. That issue concerns whether the courts here or in Cyprus should determine the dispute between IBRC and the Quinns about their international businesses.

The bank says the reference should be set aside given several developments in the case, including the loss of a court action in Cyprus by the Quinns.

Mr McPartland argued yesterday that the reference should be left stand, especially as the European Court of Justice was due to hear the matter early next month.

The Quinn side had also lodged an appeal against the Cypriot court decision and that was due for mention in Cyprus in January, he added.