Sean Quinn’s bankrupt status has been challenged – by the bank that brought down the Celtic Tiger economy and forced the Irish government to seek the EU-IMF bailout.
Quinn was declared bankrupt by a Belfast court earlier this month after blowing his $5billion fortune on a high risk gamble in shares in the then Anglo Irish Bank.
The newly named Irish Bank Resolution Corporation – Anglo recently became the IBRC after it was rescued by the Irish government – claims it is owed up to $4billon by Fermanagh native Quinn.
The IBRC has now formally applied to overturn the bankruptcy declaration made by Quinn who chose Belfast and not Dublin for his actions due to less stringent regulations regarding bankrupts in Northern Ireland.
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The IBRC claims that it is entitled to contest the bankruptcy as Quinn’s business empire was centred in the Republic of Ireland and not in the North.
The bank’s solicitors have claimed that the insolvency proceedings should be ‘annulled’ as it looks to claw back as much money as it can from the 64-year-old entrepreneur.
A Belfast judge has set a date for December 19th for the beginning of the two day hearing into the bank’s request with Quinn himself likely to be called to give evidence.
The Belfast court application hearing was told that the IBRC has already obtained a judgement against Quinn in the Dublin courts to repay some $550 million and is seeking judgement over a further $2 billion.
Quinn, who told his bankruptcy hearing that he has just $15,000 in his bank account, disputes the IBRC figures.
Under Northern Ireland law he can be declared free from bankruptcy after a year – it takes 12 years to emerge from bankruptcy in the Republic.