THE COMMERCIAL COURT is to rule tomorrow on whether Anglo Irish Bank can seek a judgement for over €2bn against Fermanagh businessman Seán Quinn – despite his being ruled bankrupt.
Quinn successfully filed for bankruptcy in Northern Ireland earlier this month, and that bankruptcy has now been registered in the Republic – but Anglo, which is now the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, is still seeking an order for Quinn to repay billions in outstanding loans.
The Irish Times’ Mary Carolan writes that the official receiver in charge of Quinn’s affairs, appointed by the court in Belfast, yesterday asked the Commercial Court to adjourn a summary judgment against Quinn until after Thursday.
On that day, IBRC is going before the courts in Northern Ireland seeking to have Quinn’s bankruptcy annulled.
BBC News reports that IBRC will claim that Quinn’s centre of interest is in the Republic and not in the North, and that he therefore should not have been entitled to give a Northern Irish address in seeking to claim bankruptcy.
Quinn has variously used addresses in Fermanagh, where his business was headquartered, and Cavan. Bankruptcy in Northern Ireland allows him to return to business within 12 months; doing so in the Republic would bar him from similar activities for 12 years.
RTÉ News said the receiver in charge of Quinn’s affairs also told the Commercial Court that he had “concerns” over the statements Quinn had offered, which outlined billions in debt, but less than €12,000 in cash.
Former attorney-general Paul Gallagher SC, representing IBRC, said an adjournment was not needed as Quinn was not offering a defence against its claim, and because judicial matters in the Republic would not affect those in the North.
Either way, he argued, the proceedings in Belfast’s High Court would probably be adjourned until the New Year, further delaying IBRC’s claim.
Justice Peter Kelly is to issue his ruling in the matter tomorrow.