Sean Quinn a 'scapegoat' says Sinn Fein's Phil Flanagan

Published: 18 Oct 2012 17:041 comment

SINN Fein MLA Phil Flanagan says Sean Quinn is being used as a "scapegoat".

Phil Flanagan.

SINN Fein MLA Phil Flanagan says Sean Quinn is being used as a "scapegoat".

Mr Flanagan who attended Sunday's rally with assembly colleague Sean Lynch is calling for answers to a number of "legitimate questions" and believes Sean Quinn -- who is being blamed in the Republic for many of its economic woes -- was not "driven by greed".

"The Irish tax payer is right to be angry, but that's not as a result of Sean Quinn, the family, or the group. It was the government that decided to put the bank into public ownership and they did that on what appears to be false information. When efforts were made to try and buy into the bank it wasn't owned by the people of Ireland, it was a private bank. It was based on information coming from the bank that said it was financially sound. Blaming the Quinns is too simplistic," he said.

The politician said Mr Quinn was "driven by wanting to grow a successful group of companies and prosperity to an area that had been neglected", adding: "I don't think it was driven by greed. Most, if not all, decisions were based on a strong business acumen."

He said the legitimacy of the loans used to purchase the shares in the bank must be established.

"The family have a number of legitimate questions that have remained unanswered for some time and I think it is only appropriate that answers are given. This cannot be swept under the carpet."

Mr Flanagan's position differs somewhat from his party's deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald who recently said that the Quinns needed to pay their debts to the Irish taxpayer.

"As the IBRC is now fully state-owned, money owed to it by the Quinns is money owed the state. The Quinns have an obligation to abide by the law the same as any other citizen. They also have an obligation to work with IBRC to repay what they owe."

Meanwhile, Independent Councillor Bernice Swift expressed her frustration at the Quinn situation when she and other politicians, including the Ulster Unionist's Alex Baird and Harold Andrews and Sinn Fein's Michelle Gildernew and Thomas O'Reilly met with a number of TDs from Dáil Éireann in Enniskillen's Townhall to discuss cross-Border issues.

"I outlined how the net effect of the damning actions of Anglo and the Irish Government is having a catastrophic effect on our local Fermanagh community as businesses and jobs are being destroyed on a daily basis.

"Needless to say, those covering up corrupt deals within Irish Government are towing a party line. However, I remained steadfast in highlighting, justice delayed is justice denied.

Ms Swift, who also attended the Quinn rally, added: "I explained that the massively attended rally on Sunday heard facts from Peter Quinn who firmly put to bed all the lies peddled by the busted Anglo Irish Bank and their bedfellows in the Irish Government. The multitudes of people in attendance from Fermanagh and the border counties have noticeably sent a message to Dublin of which cannot be ignored."

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