The wife of bust billionaire Sean Quinn had told a Dublin court that she should not have to repay a $4million loan because she is a homemaker – despite the fact that she is a director of 91 Quinn Group companies.
Patricia Quinn has told the Dublin Commercial court that she is a mere housewife who was unduly influenced by her husband and regularly signed documents he put in front of her without reading them.
The Irish Times also reports that the Quinns signed over their five star Slieve Russell hotel to their daughter Brenda - when she was just three years old.
Lawyers for the former Anglo Irish Bank, who are seeking the immediate repayment of the loan, labelled her claims of undue influence ‘an incredible proposition’ that was in breach of the constitution.
Responding to Mrs Quinn’s sworn affidavit, Justice Peter Kelly remarked that under Irish law there has been ‘no presumption of undue influence’ between a husband and wife since 1750.
He added that Mrs Quinn was: “Advancing the startling proposition that she was a cat’s paw for her husband, with no clue about documents she was signing and also clueless about being a director of many companies.”
The bank has rejected Mrs Quinn’s claims according to the Irish Times which states that she was a director of 91 Quinn Group companies at the height of her now bankrupt husband’s powers.
Mrs Quinn also states in her affidavit that that she only ‘very recently’ became aware that she was even a customer of Anglo Irish Bank, despite the fact that her name appears on loan documents for millions of euro of borrowings from the bank which is now state owned and operating as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.
In the sworn document, Mrs Quinn admits that her lack of knowledge of the business dealings is ‘embarrassing’. She also claims she is not liable for the loan because she never realised she had signed up for it, never received the benefit of it and never received any legal advice before signing the loan documents.
She also states that she is not a business lady, has been a homemaker for the past 36 years and has been looking after her husband since she married at the age of 21.
“This is embarrassing to admit but it is the truth,” she says in an affidavit which also states that she never worked with the Quinn group of companies and was never involved in any business or financial dealings ‘beyond deciding upon the weekly groceries and providing for the household expenses’.
Further details of how Sean Quinn ran his business empire have emerged in a separate court case taken by the Quinn family against the former Anglo Irish Bank concerning loans of over $3billion.
The Quinns have admitted in that case that the Slieve Russell hotel was handed over to Sean’s daughter Brenda and held in trust for her until her 18th birthday by her mother.
Patricia Quinn and her five children are challenging the bank’s claims that they owe over $3billion. They claim the loans are ‘tainted with illegality’.