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Dublin: 3°C Monday 19 April 2021

‘I was involved in spending money stupidly’ – Quinn

The businessman told the trial of three former Anglo executives that he “doesn’t know what he knew”.

Image: Photocall Ireland

Updated 10:10pm

SEÁN QUINN TOLD a court earlier today that he “doesn’t know what he knew” about guarantees made to Anglo Irish Bank.

Quinn was in the witness box at the trial of Seán FitzPatrick, the bank’s former CEO and chairman, Patrick Whelan, the former MD of lending in Ireland for Anglo and William McAteer, the former chief risk officer and finance director.

He told McAteer’s counsel Brendan Grehan that a letter from former Quinn Group chief executive Liam McCaffrey to Anglo about a €220 million loan was something he knew nothing about.

“In 40 years of the Quinn Group, I was never involved in the administration of the company, I left school at 15, so I leave that to others.

I was involved in spending money stupidly, I left the administration to other people.


Quinn said that he, his family and his company had lost a total of €3.2 billion on the doomed bank.

He said that he had first become interested in the bank, which he believed was a “blue-chip investment”, in 2006.

He told the court he admired its ability to make profits with low overheads, citing Ryanair as another company he admired.

He said that Quinn Group had a three-pronged plan in terms of investments and that included blue-chip companies.

Quinn said that when he was asked to reduce his shareholding, built up through contracts for difference (CFDs), he was “absolutely furious”, saying that he “totally blamed Anglo for the situation”.

When pushed by Mr Grehan as to whether Anglo bore all of the blame for his losses, Quinn added:

I was a fool to believe them.


When it was put to him that he had used nine different brokers in order build his shareholding in Anglo in secret, Quinn did not disagree, saying that he had preferred to keep his dealings “under the radar”.

Mr Grehan put it to Quinn that the bank hadn’t lent him any money to buy shares, rather to fill a hole in his companies, Quinn said that he had other options than accepting a €500 million loan.

“We could have shorted on the shares or taken an option.

“If David Drumm didn’t want me to hold onto my shares, he wouldn’t have supported me.”

The court was shown a letter in which Quinn expressed a desire to meet the board of the bank. When asked why, the businessman said that he wanted to find out why the share price was fluctuating.

“I’ve always been a hands-on type of person. I’ve always like meeting people.”

Quinn agreed that his recollection had been coloured by his losses, but lamented:

“It was all a sham.”

The trial continues tomorrow.

First published 4.20pm

Read: Quinn: ‘I thought Anglo was a marvelous institution

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