Quinn hints at business empire sequel
LAUNCH Packed Slieve Russell give Quinn rapturous response
“It is my sincere hope that with good health and the right people and planning that we have not read the final chapter of the Sean Quinn story.”
Those were the words of Sean Quinn Jnr speaking at the launch of his father’s book in the Slieve Russell Hotel in Ballyconnell last night.
The packed Cranaghan Suite saw over 1,200 people attend the launch of ‘In My Own Words’ – an attempt by the former billionaire to put across his version of the events that saw his family losing control of business empire they had built: Quinn Group.
Sean Quinn Jnr read a statement on behalf of his father: “People here don’t realise the high regard that I hold those who have supported me throughout my career and over the last 15 years in particular when we were playing against a gale force wind. You have never lost faith and I am eternally grateful for that.
“I would like to thank a lot of people – the staff who worked tirelessly to make the company the success it became, the local community and approximately ninety farmers who sold me land to develop the business, the customers who supported us so loyally for decades, our suppliers who provided us with first-class service, those who helped us financially in recent years, and the many people who supported me without ever meeting me.
“It is the memories of your support and the knowledge of what we have achieved that I will try and concentrate on from now. I would ask you to remember our achievements and what we created together rather than concentrating on those who are responsible for the destruction of what we created.
“I would like to thank everybody here for attending tonight and I hope you enjoy the book.”
For his own part, Sean Quinn Jnr congratulated his dad on completing the book. “Dad is not a quitter,” he said.
“Personally I found the book difficult to read and sadness was one of the main emotions I had when reading it.
“The events of the last 15 years have been very difficult for dad and for the family and for that reason I generally try to put those events to the back of my mind.”
On behalf of the family, he said they were very proud of Sean Quinn’s achievements and the contribution he made to the lives of many in the Border region and beyond.
“His foresight in development long-term, sustainable projects such as the hotel we are in tonight is a legacy he can be rightly proud of.
“It is my sincere hope that with good health and the right people and planning that we have not read the final chapter of the Sean Quinn story.
“Finally, in recent times, someone has suggested to me that my father could be described as a flawed genius. If indeed that is a fitting description, I am proud to say that he is our flawed genius. Thanks everyone.”
The book itself was formally launched by Chris McGettigan, solicitor with PJ Flanagan and company, in Enniskillen.
He urged people to treat the book as a who dunnit. “He’s [Sean] put all the evidence in there. You are all clever enough to work out, at the end, who did what to who? Who dunnit? It’s very clear. It’s in there.
“What I would say, the lesson from this book to be learned is – be very careful who you trust. Salt and sugar look the same.”
Mr McGettigan described it as a “phenomenal” book and stated his belief that Sean Quinn was made a “scapegoat”.
“This is not a ‘poor me’ story. This is Sean setting the record straight,” said the solicitor.
“Sean in his book, he sets out betrayal, corruption, deceit and worst of all a grab all for what was left of the Quinn assets, which is quite sad,” surmised Mr McGettigan.
He posed this question to those assembled: “Should a government admit that you cannot take a legal security over illegal loans, which ought to have been regulated by that government? That’s what happened here.
“The Quinn Group was provided with illegal loans on a falsely inflated share price in an attempt to preserve Anglo and ultimately the Irish banking sector but the regulatory body failed at this man’s expense.”
Mr McGettigan took the opportunity to call for a full public inquiry into the matter.
“I was driving in tonight and I still even now expect to see the green lorries, the Quinn symbol and it just doesn’t feel right and it’s not right,” he said.
“The truth always, always, always comes out in some shape or form,” added the solicitor.
Mr McGettigan said there was more to come from Sean Quinn: “Quinn Bet’s a great success. He has option agreements over the mountain for raw materials and product and he has the support of the landowners and farmers. Sean Quinn is open for business but he always has been. It’s as simple as that. This man has the energy of a race horse.”
Although not due to speak himself, Sean Quinn spoke briefly at the end to say thank you.
“As Sean [Jnr] said at the beginning, it’s a bit of an emotional night for me. Thanks to Sean Jnr, thanks to Chris [solicitor]. He’s been a tremendous warrior. He’s a man that feels that justice should be provided to everybody, not just the minority.
“I am eternally grateful to everybody in this room to and all the people who have supported me over the last 70 years. Thank you very much.”
MC for the event was Gerry Kelly from Red Stripe Press, the publishers of the new book.
“Now I know what it means when people say you are in Quinn Country,” he told the buoyant crowd to rapturous applause.