SEAN Quinn was dreading prison, but knew today was inevitable.

The words of Father Gerry Comiskey who says Mr Quinn's family are "devastated" and "in shock" after the former businessman was handed a nine week prison sentence for contempt of court.

"There are no words to describe how they are feeling," said the priest, speaking to this afternoon.

"When I spoke to him he was emotional but defiant and wanted to get it over with. On the one hand he was dreading what seemed to be inevitable, but also anxious to get some resolution. I listened to him, I didn't say much - I will offer him advice and support when I see him at Mountjoy," he said. Father Comiskey believes the family will "stick together and get through this".

"They are a very closely knit family, very loyal to each other, they have remarkable values. But I do know the fact that Christmas is looming will be devastating for them and will add to the anguish." "It is incredulous that we are seeing all of this unfolding in front of our own eyes. All of those who know the history of what Sean Quinn has done for Fermanagh and to see it all collapsing is heartbreaking, as is the way in which he is being humiliated," he added.