An Irish court has declared Sean Quinn, once Ireland’s richest man, bankrupt, ruling out a return to the corporate arena for the former billionaire for at least five years.
Quinn – who lost control last year of a global empire spanning hotels, cement plants and wind farms – was not present and did not oppose the application before the High Court in Dublin, the Irish Times reported.
The application was made by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly Anglo Irish Bank, which was nationalised in 2009.
Quinn’s use of loans to make disastrous investments in Anglo Irish has left the failed state-owned bank chasing him over debts of nearly $3.7 billion and battling to gain ownership of his properties, according to Reuters.
Forbes magazine put Quinn’s worth at around $6 billion in 2008. Last week the IBRC succeeded in having his bankruptcy status in British-controlled Northern Ireland – which has a less onerous bankruptcy regime than the Republic of Ireland – annulled, on the basis that Quinn’s centre of main interests was in the Republic, and not Northern Ireland as he had argued, the BBC reported.
Under Irish law, a person declared bankrupt cannot create or manage a company in Ireland for at least five years, and possibly up to 12 years. Quinn’s affairs will now come under the control of a court-appointed official, to whom a statement of affairs will have to be submitted by Quinn, according to Ireland’s RTE News.
The Fermanagh-born businessman continues to enjoy near-legendary status in the rural areas straddling Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Locals in County Cavan have staged rallies in recent months to demonstrate their support and gratitude for the thousands of jobs he created, the New York Times has reported.
His career in business began in 1975 when he borrowed 100 Irish pounds to create a gravel quarry on the grounds of his family farm. Now, 35 years later, the father of five claims to be down to his last $14,000, an old Mercedes and 166 acres of land.