Ireland’s richest man, has declared himself bankrupt in a Belfast court over nearly EUR3bn of debts to the former Anglo-Irish Bank.
The entrepreneur’s multi-billion empire collapsed over the last two years on the back of massive and secret stock market gambles on the share price of the now nationalised rogue lender.
But the bank, rebranded as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), warned that Mr Quinn and his family owe the Irish state EUR2.9bn and challenged his claim of UK residency.
The 64-year-old was finally stripped of all control of his business empire in April this year and is involved in complex legal wrangles on the outcome of the collapse. He says he owes around EUR194m to the bank, but disputes the remaining debt.
"I was born, reared and worked all my life in Co Fermanagh. It is for this reason that my bankruptcy application was made today in Northern Ireland," Mr Quinn said.
"I have done absolutely everything in my power to avoid taking this drastic decision.
"The vast majority of debt that Anglo maintains is owed is strenuously disputed. However, I cannot now pay those loans which are due, following Anglo taking control of the Quinn Group of companies, which I and a loyal team spent a lifetime building. I find myself left with no other alternative."
Mr Quinn’s bankruptcy declaration in the High Court in Belfast means he could be free of his debts in a year. If he had been forced into the same move in the Republic he would be out of business for 12 years.
The IBRC issued a statement disputing that Mr Quinn is resident in Northern Ireland and claimed the family lives in Co Cavan, on the southern side of the Irish border.
"The bank is examining the validity of this application for bankruptcy in light of Mr Quinn’s residency and extensive business interests and liabilities within the state," the IBRC said.
Source: Belfast Telegraph