herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Quinn due back behind bars after family Christmas

SEAN Quinn Snr was due back in prison today after three days of temporary release over Christmas which allowed him to attend his granddaughter's christening.

The 66-year-old tycoon was jailed for contempt last month and will finish his sentence on January 4.

Quinn kept a low profile over Christmas ahead of the resumption of legal proceedings between the Quinn family and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC, formerly known as Anglo Irish Bank).

He was reported to have been in good form following the christening of his granddaughter at Staghall Church near Belturbet, Co Cavan, yesterday.

The christening, which had been rescheduled from September, was a low-key event.

"All of the family circle were able to be together," said Fr Gerry Comiskey, who officiated at the baptism.

"When they heard of Sean's arrangements for when he got home, they didn't ask me about the christening but I volunteered to do anything that would accommodate them," he added.



Allegations

Fr Comiskey said Quinn Snr is not worried about his return to prison. "He knows it's almost over. He's extremely grateful to everyone for their support," he explained.

A High Court judge told Quinn she had no choice but to sentence him, amid allegations of a scheme that put the family's €500m international property empire beyond the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne told him he had committed a contempt of court that had been nothing short of outrageous, and that he had been evasive, uncooperative and not credible during an earlier hearing.

Quinn was collected from the training unit in Mountjoy at 6am on Monday by his son Sean Jnr in an Audi A5 coupe.

Quinn Jnr himself was recently released following a three-month sentence in the same prison for contempt.

Quinn Snr spent the last three days and nights with his family in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, following a complex legal wrangle involving the Attorney General, the Justice Minister, the Irish Prison Service and the governor of Mountjoy prison.

His temporary release followed an impassioned plea from his wife Patricia, who could not bear to be separated from her husband at Christmas.

Quinn's family said that in almost 40 years, Sean and Patricia Quinn had never spent a Christmas apart.

Quinn has been receiving hundreds of letters of support since he was imprisoned.

Fr Gerry Comiskey said he collected a box of cards from Quinn Snr the last time he visited him in prison, and that he was told there were more than 800 in it.

"He has been able to spend a lot of time reading and reflecting," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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