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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 23 October, 2014

Seán Quinn: ‘I’ve apologised to my children for my fundamental mistake’

The bankrupt former billionaire tells the Impartial Reporter his time in jail has made him determined to clear his name.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

FORMER BILLIONAIRE Seán Quinn has said he has repeatedly apologised to his wife and children for the “fundamental mistake” of investing in Anglo Irish Bank – a decision that ultimately led to his bankruptcy.

The bankrupt businessman told the Impartial Reporter newspaper he regretted ever buying shares in the bank, and taking money from his family’s insurance firm Quinn Direct to increase the scale of his exposure to Anglo’s share price.

“But the Quinn family; the five kids, are the victims of this, and I have apologised to them on a number of occasions. I should not have done what I done. I got carried away, wrongly. I was far too influenced about all the reports I got and I made a fundamental mistake,” he told reporter Rodney Edwards.

“But at the end of the day it was based on fraudulent information. Why blame the family? Why blame the kids for that?”

In an interview carried out before the G8 summit or the release of the Anglo tapes, the Cavan man also insisted he should “never have been in jail” and insisted he had never been in contempt of the High Court, the offence for which he served time in Mountjoy.

“I say without fear of contradiction if I was to die tonight that I was never in contempt of court,” he said, adding that his time in jail had made him more determined to clear his name.

Enda Kenny, when he was leader of the opposition, put it to Brian Cowen in February 2009 in the Dáil that these loans were illegal and were in breach of section 60. He knew about this then.

Everyone knew Anglo was in trouble yet they didn’t tell anyone. They didn’t tell the brokers, they didn’t tell me. I had no idea. I thought the bank was doing fine and we continued to buy shares in it.

Quinn again appealed to the Taoiseach – who “must know that there was a real cock-up” – to aggressively support legislation making it a crime to withhold information about white collar crime.

This, he said, would result in information coming to light which would clear the family’s name.

Read: Seán Quinn: 100 per cent of prison inmates felt I shouldn’t be there

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