Ireland’s Former Richest Man Is Going To Jail

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Nothing captures Ireland’s fall from Celtic Tiger grace like this. Sean Quinn the formally celebrated self-made billionaire has been sentenced to jail for contempt of court.

The High Court has today imposed a nine-week jail sentence to the former cement, property, and insurance tycoon.

Sean Quinn was the 164th richest man in 2008 but last year he declared himself bankrupt with debts of2.8bn euro to the now-nationalized Anglo bank. Since then Quinn has been shifting ownership of his properties throughout Europe to friends and commercial fronts. In mid-2011, Irish courts had ordered Quinn to stop such asset-stripping instantly, because the state-owned Anglo bank was entitled to those assets in order to offset unpaid loans totaling €2.8-billion.

A judge at the High Court in Dublin stated to the now bankrupt billionaire that the court had no choice but to sentence him for his disgraceful contempt and his role in an arrangement that put the family’s €500m international property empire beyond the grasp of the former Anglo Irish Bank. The judge has also stated that his attitude has been evasive and uncooperative and that “he has only himself to blame” for the jail sentence

As police lead Quinn off to jail he had an angry yet apologetic outburst. “Did I make mistakes in the last two years?… Yes, I did. Do I apologize here now in public for that? Yes, I do,” he said. “Is it small fry compared to the overall assault that has been launched on us, and taking over our companies and destroying them? It’s an absolute disaster.”

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Denis Foynes

Denis Foynes was born in New York City to Irish parents in 1991. When he was 8, his family returned to Celtic Tiger Ireland. Denis has an International Politics degree from Aberystwyth University in Wales. After completing university, he decided to leave crisis Ireland and relocate to Panama.