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Gardaí at the home of businessman Seán Quinn in Cavan yesterday. John McVitty
Cavan

Solicitor says Sean Quinn was not given details of allegations against him during garda search

Gardaí seized documents and Quinn’s phone during the search yesterday.

THE SOLICITOR FOR Seán Quinn has said the businessman was not given details of the nature of the allegations against him when gardaí searched his home yesterday.

The search of his home in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, began at 11am and was carried out by gardaí investigating alleged criminal activity in the wider border region.

Officers carried out the search after a warrant was issued by a district court judge under Section 10 of the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1997.

The search ended later in the day and no arrests were made.

Chris McGettigan, Quinn’s solicitor, said several documents were taken along with the phone during the search of the former billionaire’s home.

He told the PA news agency the two-hour search operation came as a surprise and Quinn had not been informed what specific allegations gardaí were investigating.

“We don’t know what the complaints that have been made against him actually are,” said McGettigan.

The fundamental principle of any legal system is you are entitled to know what the allegations are that are being made against you and so far there’s none.

McGettigan said gardaí said they were investigating claims of harassment, but did not provide details.

“You’re entitled to know who’s making allegations against you, anyone is entitled to know what allegations are being made, but they are not forthcoming,” he added.

“As we stand, neither ourselves or Mr Quinn know what the allegations are that being made against him, if any.”

The solicitor questioned whether some of the documents taken may be legally privileged, but he said it was hard to determine exactly what had been seized, as he said gardaí did not leave a list of what they had removed from the property.

Speaking to BBC News Northern Ireland yesterday Quinn said officers had told him the home was being raided because of “coercion, deception, harassment – stuff like that”.

“So I asked them who was I harassing, this that and the other and they said: ‘Look we can’t tell you that. We just have to do our investigation but that’s what we’re here for.’

“They never mentioned anything about criminality. Unless harassment is criminality, they never mentioned anything like that at all.”

According to the BBC’s report he said he told the officers it was just a “fishing expedition” because they couldn’t tell him why they were there.

“So they said we’ll do the investigation and report back. So they took my phone, they took my diary and they took big boxes of stuff and went off with it.”

In a statement, gardaí said it was an ongoing criminal investigation and they would not be making any further comment.

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