Quinn gets three days home for Christmas


The family of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn are “delighted” he has been granted temporary release from prison and will be home for Christmas, local supporters have said.

Quinn (66) is six weeks into a nine-week sentence at Mountjoy Prison for contempt of court. The one-time billionaire will be freed for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day.

The Prison Service last night confirmed Quinn’s application for compassionate temporary release had been accepted. Factors cited were his age, previous good character, his behaviour while in custody and the long-term health difficulties of both himself and his wife Patricia.

Quinn will, however, miss his granddaughter’s Christening on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for Concerned Irish Citizens, a lobby group set up in support of the Quinn family, last night said the family was “very disappointed” that Quinn would would miss the Christening.

She said the family were “exhausted” with the ongoing legal disputes, but were “delighted” to have him home for Christmas. “I would imagine he will be spending it with his family.”

The Quinn family’s parish priest Fr Gerry Comiskey said he visited Quinn in prison yesterday afternoon. “I welcome the fact that he has been released,” he said.

“He has been looking forward to it for a long time and will be delighted to get home to for some quiet time with the family.

“He has been doing quite well for the past few weeks and has remained upbeat throughout. He has received an enormous amount of support and letters from people from all around the country.

“He has said he is looking forward to taking on the big case in 2013.”

The compassionate leave was agreed following prolonged talks between Attorney General Máire Whelan, the Department of Justice and the Irish Prison Service.

Quinn will be freed on Monday from the training unit where his son Seán jnr also served three months for contempt.