Bust billionaire Sean Quinn – once Ireland’s richest man - has failed in a spectacular bid to avoid bankruptcy hearings in the Republic.
Quinn didn’t answer the door to representatives of the former Anglo Irish Bank as they looked to serve a summons to have him declared bankrupt in the South.
The High Court in Dublin heard that Quinn refused to open the locked gates of his home in Ballyconnell, County Cavan, to officials from the bank, now known as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.
They were attempting to serve a summons to form the initial stage of seeking to have Quinn declared a bankrupt in the South.
Solicitors on both sides of the border had told the bank’s representatives that they had no instructions from the businessman to accept the summons.
The Irish Times reports that barrister Aillil O’Reilly told the court that a summons server had attended the Quinn home in Ballyconnell on several occasions and had been refused admission after ringing the entrance bell at the locked gates.
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O’Reilly added that the summons server had observed ‘movement and lights in and around the Quinn home’ despite having received no answer when pushing the bell button on the gate.
The lawyer also stated: “On one occasion he had seen a man he believed to be Seán Quinn walking around his car outside the house as if waiting for the summons server to leave. Mr Quinn had later driven out of the gateway without the server having been able to serve the summons on him or gain entrance to his home.”
The court also heard that lawyers acting on behalf of Quinn sought an injunction in Belfast’s High Court to prevent the summons being served as it would be an interference with the proceedings in the North where the bank are attempting to have Quinn’s bankruptcy status annulled.
The Belfast judge accepted an assurance from the bank that it would commence bankruptcy proceedings in the Republic but not seek an order of bankruptcy before his case had been determined.
The Dublin court ordered that the summons could be served by posting it into Quinn’s post box in Ballyconnell, and also by service on his solicitors.
Quinn owes the bank almost $4billion but has assets worth just $80,000.
Northern Ireland law allows bankrupts purge their debts in as little as a year while the same time span in the Republic is up to 12 years.