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Belfast Court Annuls Quinn’s NI Bankruptcy

The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, has succeeded in having Seán Quinn’s bankruptcy status in Northern Ireland annulled.

The IBRC argued that Mr Quinn’s centre of main interest was in the Republic of Ireland and not north of the border as he had claimed when successfully seeking bankruptcy status from a Belfast court last November. Certain commentators were dubious of the move and believed it was carried out due to the North’s more lenient bankruptcy laws.

During its challenge, the IRBC claimed that a European Directive that applies in insolvency cases specifies that a person’s centre of main interest has to be ascertainable to third parties, such as creditors.

After Mr Justice Donal Deeny gave the ruling, Quinn told reporters outside the Belfast High Court, “The whole thing is a joke.” He said that he didn’t know how the bank would retrieve the €2.9 billion he owes them as his company is “destroyed”. He remarked, “It is like somebody taking a sledgehammer to a child’s toy. It is wrecked.”

Forbes magazine once ranked Quinn as Ireland’s richest man – in 2008 his worth was said to be in the region of €4.5 billion. He estimates that he lost more than €1 billion after investing in AIB, which was nationalised in 2009.

In April of last year, the IBRC appointed a share receiver to take over the Quinn family’s equity interest in Quinn Group (ROI) Ltd.

An application by the organisation to have Mr Quinn declared as bankrupt in the Republic will be heard in the Dublin High Court next Monday.

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