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Seán Quinn in a rare interview with RTÉ in 2009 Screengrab via TheQuinnGroup/YouTube

Seán Quinn files for bankruptcy in Belfast High Court

In a statement the man who was once the richest in Ireland has said the government has been intent on making him a “scapegoat”.

Updated 12.40pm

ONCE IRELAND’S RICHEST man Seán Quinn has this morning been declared bankrupt at the High Court in Belfast.

UTV News reports that in a statement the entrepreneur said he had been left with no alternative after he made huge losses on a complex share investment with the now defunct Anglo Irish Bank.

In a lengthy statement, published on RTÉ, Quinn says he has taken the decision with “great sadness and regret”  but he slammed the bank and the government for making he and his family “scapegoats”:

I worked tirelessly to find a solution to the problems, which arose from the ill-fated investments in Anglo. Anglo, and more recently the Irish Government, are intent on making scapegoats of my family and I. Anglo has consistently ignored its own wrongdoing in affairs.

Anglo has sought every means to avoid acknowledging the lack of corporate responsibility, the self interest, the illegal lending practices and lack of regulation that prevailed at the time, all of which are now the subject of High Court proceedings.

Earlier this year, Anglo Irish Bank took control of Quinn’s business empire - including the Quinn Group, Quinn Insurance, and Quinn Direct – after he was unable to pay €2.8 billion in loans he took out with the bank.

Quinn later argued he could have saved the business had he been given time to do so.

The two have since been locked in a legal battle as Anglo, now part of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, bids to recover the Quinn family’s assets which are based across the globe.

The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) said in a statement that it was “examining the validity of the application”:

IBRC notes Sean Quinn’s application in Belfast for bankruptcy in the United Kingdom. Mr Quinn and his family, who live in Co Cavan, owe the Irish State, through IBRC almost €2.9 billion.

The Bank is examining the validity of this application for bankruptcy in the light of Mr Quinn’s residency and extensive business interests and liabilities within the State.

The mandate of IBRC is to recover as much of the debts as possible on behalf of the Irish taxpayer and IBRC will continue to pursue maximum recovery of his debt.

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