Sean Quinn Junior transfered immediately to “one of the best prisons…”

I know we are well into the silly season (700+ written questions dumped on government ministers in the Dail last week by vacationing TDs as they sped out Dublin’s parliamentary doors), but I really don’t get why Sinn Fein are playing so close to Sean Quinn and family. Closer in fact that Quinn himself is prepared to go.

All I can think is that the heat must be on down in Fermanagh… Meanwhile in the Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole has been taking a long second look at what’s happened to Sean Junior:

LAST FRIDAY, Seán Quinn jnr was sent to Mountjoy Prison for three months for “outrageous” contempt of court in hiding nearly half a billion euro that belongs to the Irish people. But he’s not in Mountjoy. He spent one night in that nasty place. On Saturday, he was transferred to a very different institution on the same campus, the Training Unit, where, we are told, he is to serve all of the rest of his sentence. This decision, according to reports, was taken by “prison authorities”.

To most people, this is a minor detail. To a prisoner, it makes all the difference in the world. The short distance between Mountjoy and the Training Unit is a vast gulf in hope, dignity and self-respect. Mountjoy is a kip. The Training Unit is a decent enough place to be. Quinn being sent there means two things. One is that he remains an extremely privileged man. The other is that some other criminal, almost certainly one who has done less harm to Irish society, will pay for Seán Quinn’s privileges.

The thing to grasp about the Training Unit – demanding a leap of imagination by those of us on the outside – is there’s a really long waiting list to get into it. Once you pass into the parallel universe of incarceration, this is where you want to be. The unit is “one of the best prisons, if not the best, in the country” – according to inmates themselves, interviewed by the prisons inspectorate. Unlike Mountjoy, it is not infested with cockroaches and has not been officially deemed unfit for habitation. No one has to “slop out”.

Hmmmm… some prisoners are more equal than others?

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  • Mister_Joe


    Can you clear something up for me. Some reports said 3 months, others said indefinite until the contempt is purged. Any idea which it is?

  • The Lodger

    The Training Unit may be cushy, but I doubt that it is quite as comfortable as the Bungalow in the Grove Complex which Kevin Walsh, Patrick Sheehy, Pearse McAuley and Michael O’Neill got to be ‘imprisoned’ in.

  • Alias

    I’m sure Fintan lives by the code he preaches and refuses all ad hoc privileges that are afforded to him by virtue of his elevated social standing but the reality is that most others do not, and nor do others offering such concessions think twice about them. The Garda in Killiney will always speak more respectfully to illegally-parked locals than the Garda in Ballyfermot, and that is how it has always been.

    I don’t think you can extrapolate from this incident any of the themes that engross Fintan unless he has some evidence that the authorities in Mountjoy are part of a wider network of rogue bankers so conclusions such as “there are two Irelands and two kinds of crime” are just spurious. Yes, there are two Irelands but they’re divided more or less equally between the social classes, and not the ‘bankers, billionaires versus the rest’.

    That class system will remain until Fintan and ilk turns down that better seat in a restaurant, and that won’t happen any time soon…

  • Mister_Joe

    Unsourced quote:

    There are two types of people; those who move heavy weights about at or near the surface of the earth and those who cause them to be moved.

  • alan56

    Ref the SF support for SQ, yes it is all about Fermanagh. South Fermanagh is a SF stronghold, as is Cavan/Monaghan. No brainer for SF. However if the prevailing wind changes and that support was a liability. Who knows?

  • wild turkey

    “I really don’t get why Sinn Fein are playing so close to Sean Quinn and family.”

    well mick, neither do I. neither do I. a number of speculative options suggest themselves. amongst these are:-

    1. maybe like another recent and nearby socialist party, SF has no problem with the “filthy rich” or formerly filty rich as the case may be

    2. The party does have past form in running prisoners as candidates in various past parliamentary elections.

    is anyone making book on Sean Og subsequently being transfered from the Training Unit to the K-Klub?

  • its 3 months, but if the orders are not complied with he could remain there indefinitely

    His appeal is in October, which means i suppose he expects to be in the resort still in October