FERMANAGH businessman Sean Quinn - formerly Ireland's richest man - says he is determined to repair the family name, two weeks after filing for bankruptcy at the High Court in Belfast.

Speaking exclusively to today's Impartial Reporter, the 65-year-old described the last two years - which saw him lose control of his multibillion-euro insurance, manufacturing and property businesses - as "very difficult" and "very hurtful" but he remains resilient and focused on moving on, despite a number of legal proceedings hanging over him.

Mr. Quinn, who created thousands of jobs here, also talked about his responsibility for his staff and said that despite the fact he has been "kicked around" he is determined to fight on.

"I feel what happened to the family and the area over the last two years shouldn't have happened. We were a very successful company and feel very hard done by. What I have learned in my life is you have to be a good loser as well as a good winner. We are determined to move on and rebuild the family's reputation over the next five to ten years, and try to undo some of the injustices we feel has been done to us".

He added: "I realise the majority of people in Ireland feel that I have messed up in recent years in relation to Anglo Irish Bank, and I understand that. What I cannot accept is the image that is currently being portrayed that our group of companies have been unprofitable. I think that is a grave insult to all the dedicated management and staff who have helped grow the business to the success it once was. At the end of the day, will we come out the other end? Yes we will".

Mr. Quinn also revealed that he has received thousands of letters of support from well-wishers around Fermanagh and explained how he discovered he had lost Quinn Insurance - his wife heard it on the radio in the gym.

When questioned on how he felt when he realised he had lost control of his business, he replied: "When you're in business, when you have a family and thousands of staff, you can't get emotional. You just have to keep on the straight and narrow. I still feel a sense of responsibility for the staff even though I am gone from the business six or seven months, I still feel responsible for every single person who has supported me," he said.

In a deeply personal exchange, the notoriously private man, opened up to this newspaper. Asked to describe the real Sean Quinn, he replied: "I was always a bit of a home bird, I wasn't interested in going off to Dublin, Belfast or London with black ties on. I just stayed around home; took it easy with the local lads, went to the local pub and put the wellington boots on to walk around the mountains. That's the way I operated and I have no regrets on that but I am paying the price for it now," he said..

This is only part of the story. Read the full exclusive report in today's Impartial Reporter.

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