Peter Quinn denies split over son avoiding jail


Brother of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn has denied there is a split in the family over his son’s attempt to avoid jail.

“There is one thing about the Quinns. We have never split on any issue and we won’t split on this issue, we haven’t split on this issue,” former GAA President Peter Quinn said. "We're probably one of the closest families in the country," he said.

“Sure Peter’s north of the border, Seán’s in jail. They both made the decision to go,” he told Sunday Sequence on BBC Radio Ulster today.

Mr Quinn also said his son Peter Darragh had not seen any reason why he should go to jail.

Peter Darragh Quinn (33), was sentenced for contempt of court in his absence last month after failing to turn up at court in Dublin.

Peter Darragh Quinn was asked if he would go to jail and said “he didn’t see any reason why he should go to jail”, Mr Quinn said.

His son had “made an attempt to purge his contempt” and had contacted Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) twice. The bank didn’t want to help his son “because they wanted blood, they wanted his blood as part of it but they got Seán's”, he said.

His cousin Seán Quinn jnr was jailed for the same period of three months after the High Court ruled the pair, along with Seán Quinn snr had failed to adequately comply with court orders aimed at reversing measures stripping multi-million assets from the Quinn family’s international property group.

When Sean Quinn Jnr was asked by his father if he would go to jail “he said he’d go if that was in the best interests of the (Quinn) group”, Peter Quinn said.

Last weekend Peter Darragh Quinn was seen at two GAA matches in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. Police in Northern Ireland are unable to detain him even though a warrant was issued in Dublin for his arrest. His father has previously said he will not return to the Republic.

Mr Quinn also spoke of the media coverage and the family's battle with the former Anglo Irish Bank (IBRC).

Mr Quinn said “abuse by the media” was the “hardest part” for him “by a mile”.

“The reality is that Anglo have won the PR war,” he said. The media had “convicted the Quinns of things we didn’t do,” he said.

“I’m not saying the Quinns have clean hands on everything….that’s a claim no businessman or woman can ever make,” he said.

There was a “conspiracy” by the Government, IBRC and Department of Finance who “need a scapegoat” to explain what happened to the country, he said.

They had “made a scapegoat of the most successful businessman in the history of the country”.

His brother was “an obvious scapegoat” because he had borrowed money from the bank, was “an outsider”, “from the border”, “doesn’t speak with a Dublin accent” and” hasn’t any education”, he said.

Yesterday Fermanagh native Fr Brian D'Arcy said he had met Peter Darragh Quinn and told him “this will all have to be resolved in accordance to justice in its own good time”.

Fr D'Arcy defended his attendance at last weekend's rally to support Sean Quinn at Ballyconnell, Co Cavan.

“I went there not as some big public figure. I went there quite simply because I’m a neighbour. I’m from this area, this is my area. It’s a priest’s duty to be in the area. I was asked to be there,” Fr Darcy said on RTE radio yesterday.

“The day that a priest hasn’t a right to go and be with people in trouble is a bad day,” he said.

Because a priest was with peole in trouble "does not mean and nerver has meant he is in support of wrong doing," Fr D'Arcy said. "I am in favour of the institutons of the State," he added.