Northern Ireland

Former billionaire Sean Quinn to be discharged from bankruptcy

Sean Quinn
Image caption Sean Quinn was once the richest man in Ireland but later lost control of his multi-billion pound business empire

The former billionaire businessman Sean Quinn is to be discharged from bankruptcy on Friday.

Dublin's High Court heard he will pay 10,000 euros (£7,800) a year for the next two years to the court official overseeing his bankruptcy, from any income he receives in the future.

He was once the richest man in Ireland and the 12th richest in the UK before his business empire collapsed in 2010.

Mr Quinn was declared bankrupt in January 2012.

In December, it was revealed that Mr Quinn was returning to manufacturing after one of his former businesses was bought by a group of his supporters.

The new firm is to be renamed Quinn Industrial Holdings Ltd and will be led by former Quinn Group employees who once held senior roles under Mr Quinn.

Mr Quinn's level of remuneration has not yet been decided.

Mr Quinn was a self-made man who started a multi-billion pound business empire by selling gravel quarried from his family's farm in Derrylin.

The Quinn Group gradually expanded, manufacturing and supplying other building products, glass and plastics, and eventually moved into insurance, hotels and property development.

Mr Quinn also invested in Anglo Irish Bank, one of the leading lights of the Celtic Tiger economy, and built up a 25% stake in the bank.

The investment went disastrously wrong in 2008, and the bank, which was facing collapse, was bailed out by taxpayers.

Anglo Irish bank was nationalised in 2009 and its affairs were taken over by the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

Contempt

For the last few years, the Quinn family has been involved in a high-profile legal battle with IBRC.

It claimed the Quinn family owes the former bank more than two billion euros (£1.56bn) and tried to recover the money from their assets.

Lawyers for the IBRC alleged that members of the Quinn family tried to strip assets from their firms, putting property worth millions of pounds beyond the reach of the former bank, in defiance of a court order.

In 2012, the High Court in Dublin ruled that Sean Quinn, his son Sean Quinn Jr and his nephew, Peter Darragh Quinn, were in contempt of that court order.

Sean Quinn and his son were both jailed for contempt and served short sentences in Dublin's Mountjoy prison.

Peter Darragh Quinn did not attend court for the sentencing and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

He left the jurisdiction and returned to Northern Ireland, where the arrest warrant could not be enforced.

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