“one thing is obvious: there should be no role for Seán Quinn in what happens”

With reported talks between Anglo Irish and the Irish Financial Regulator, the Quinn Group’s ongoing campaign against the regulator’s intervention looks set to lawyer up. Eamonn McCann takes on the “forelocking tugging”, and electioneering, interfering ‘foreigners’. And WorldbyStorm points to an Irish Times article by John McManus last Monday that’s well worth a read.

The only amazing thing about Quinn Insurance – and sadly it’s not that amazing in the Irish context – is that the company was not seized years ago. Mr Quinn’s decision to use the reserves of the insurance company to finance his disastrous foray into Anglo Irish Bank shares should have been sufficient grounds to seize the company in 2008, demonstrating as it did his blindness to the prudential fundamentals of insurance.

Over and above that, the whole – and as yet unexplained – thinking behind taking a secret 28 per cent stake in the country’s third-largest bank should, as a minimum, have shown an approach to investment at odds with running an insurance business. Never mind what it said about an attitude to corporate governance. The anger expressed by Quinn Insurance staff is entirely misplaced. The person they should be asking questions of is the man whose massive investment gambles pushed the company into the arms of the administrator.

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