Ireland’s former richest man Sean Quinn has Belfast bankruptcy status annulled
Former Anglo Irish Bank forces $2.5 billion debt back to Dublin jurisdiction
The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly known as Anglo Irish Bank, has succeeded in having Sean Quinn’s bankruptcy status in Northern Ireland annulled.
The corporation is chasing Quinn for debts of over $2.5 billion (€2 billion).
The IRBC argued that Quinn’s center of interest was in the Republic of Ireland, rather than the North. Quinn has claimed that he was operating his business from an office in County Fermanagh.
Quinn’s incredible fall from riches to rags was chronicled in the lead story in The New York Times business pages on Sunday. The article contained allegations that he had salted tens of millions away overseas
Last month the IRBC said a European Directive that applies in insolvency cases states that a person's centre of main interest has to be ascertainable to third parties.
The case was ruled by Mr Justice Donal Deeny, at Belfast’s High Court, on Tuesday morning.
Speaking in court, Deeny said, “I do not think I can safely conclude that this was a deliberate attempt to deceive on the part of Mr Quinn but I find it is a sufficient ground for me to exercise my discretion to rescind the bankruptcy order if I had not already decided to annul it," Reuters reported.
Outside the courtroom Quinn said, “What I heard in court was a bit peculiar. I never worked a day outside Northern Ireland in my life. I have never worked anywhere else."
Dublin’s High Court has also ruled that an application by the IBRC to have Quinn declared bankrupt in the south will be heard on Monday.
Lawyers for the IBRC asked that the case be heard as soon as possible. According to RTE reports, they believe that Quinn might attempt to remove assets from the reach of the bank in advance of the hearing.
Alli O’Reilly, one of the lawyers for IBRC, said there had been allegations of such behavior in other proceedings.
Quinn had applied to have the original bankruptcy summons quashed on Monday. The IBRC has asked that the bankruptcy petition by heard on the same day. Justice John Edwards agreed.
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