The spectacular fall of Seán Quinn’s empire has turned his children’s lives and financial futures upside down.
n the insightful three-part documentary Quinn country Seán Quinn Snr, who can now be seen on RTÉ, admits he tied his fortune and those of his businesses to the ill-fated Anglo Irish Bank (now IBRC) and took huge unsecured bets on the bank’s share price when it was in the disaster struck.
The Quinn family, including Quinn’s five children, Aoife, Brenda, Ciara, Colette and Seán Junior, lost €3.2 billion as a result.
“I suppose they thought they were multi-millionaires, if not more, and then their father betrayed everything about them,” said her father, Seán Quinn Snr, ruefully.
The Quinn kids were no longer worth millions, but accountable for every penny they spent on groceries, fuel, parking, dog food, and even Subway sandwiches.
They weren’t the only victims. Her mother Patricia was declared bankrupt along with her husband.
And her cousin Peter Darragh Quinn was practically on the run from an arrest warrant issued against him in 2012 when he failed to appear in Dublin’s High Court.
He continued to live in the north where the Irish authorities could not compel him to return to remove his contempt as it was a civil matter.
An Irish judge had ruled that he, along with his uncle and cousin Seán Jr., was despised after they took millions worth of international property out of reach of the IBRC.
Seán Quinn Senior and Junior were both sent to Mountjoy Prison for three months. It was a dark time for the Quinns.
But all was not lost for the offspring of the former “border billionaire”. The siblings, whose lives and issues were once daily national news, now lead a low-key existence.
QuinnBet, the online gambling company controlled by other members of the Quinn family, paid a dividend of almost €1.7 million last year as it made an unprecedented €2.2 million profit.
The dividend was paid by the company behind QuinnBet – Belbridge Consultancy – to a parent company, Quinnb Sports, which paid its shareholders a dividend of €1.5 million.
Quinnb Sports’ shareholders are primarily corporations, with the Quinn children as directors.
Brenda Quinn has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Quinn Bet since January 2017.
Her company, Bloc Investments, made a profit of just over €261,000 last year, reflecting the company’s share of dividends paid by Quinnb Sports.
For many years Brenda was the official owner of the Slieve Russell Hotel, having been given the property as a child.
She also worked for Quinn Insurance before her family’s empire collapsed. She later filed a dismissal case against the company’s new managers, which was settled before the Employment Appeals Tribunal. She left Ireland and emigrated to Australia in 2011 before returning a few years later.
Ciara Quinn and her husband Niall McPartland are directors of a company called Pookie. She also recorded a profit of 261,000 euros last year.
Ciara was perhaps best known for her extravagant 2008 wedding at the Slieve Russell Hotel. The wedding cake alone cost a whopping €100,000; The 6-foot, 10-story flower-covered creation was made in New York and flown to Ireland with its creator, a team of assistants and a kitchen.
Seán Quinn Jr. and his wife Karen are directors of a company called Secoth Investments. It holds 325 common shares of Quinnb Sports and posted a profit of almost €490,000 last year, which represents its share of dividends.
His father’s right-hand man, Seán Jr., once played a senior role at Quinn Insurance in the UK. He enjoyed raising assets and in 2005 bought The Belfry golf resort in Birmingham. It was later sold to a US corporation for reportedly €113 million, half what Seán Jr. paid for it.
Once considered one of Ireland’s most eligible bachelors, Sean Jr married Karen Woods in 2012 at the luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel in Wicklow – now the Powerscourt Hotel.
Aoife Quinn and her husband Stephen Kelly, the CEO of QuinnBet, are directors of Keeyra Holdings, which also posted a profit of €261,000 last year.
Collette Quinn and Alan Dennany are directors of Senara Investments, which made a profit of €223,000 last year.
Eldest daughter Colette helped run former Quinn assets The Slieve Russell Hotel in Co Cavan for several years. She also once owned the Ibis and Hilton hotels in Prague.
In 2017, it was revealed that Quinn family matriarch Patricia, wife of former billionaire Seán Snr, had just €315 in the bank when she went bankrupt from the former Anglo Irish bank. It was also revealed during the proceedings that she owed the IBRC €105 million and the Revenue Commissioners €1.6 million.
The Galway-born mother of five describes herself as a homemaker. “I was at home taking care of the children,” she said in court. “I wasn’t involved in anything.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/the-quinn-childrens-financial-fall-from-100000-wedding-cakes-to-accounting-for-every-cent-spent-on-groceries-42186613.html The Quinn kids’ financial slump: From $100,000 wedding cakes to accounting for every penny spent on groceries