“The Seán Quinn story is not about one man” – that’s the view of Trevor Birney, who recently launched his new book, ‘Quinn’, in his native Fermanagh.

The Enniskillen-born documentary maker and author launched the book in the new Waterstones store at Erneside Shopping Centre on December 9.

The bookstore was packed out as people queued to meet the author, ask him questions, and listen to his thoughts, with the event being hosted by Trevor’s friend and former Impartial Reporter colleague, Denzil McDaniel.

The book is a companion to the Quinn Country documentary series and reveals some new information not covered in the programmes broadcast on RTÉ, which drew 600,000 viewers.

READ MORE: An extract from 'Quinn' by Trevor Birney

Speaking to this newspaper following his book’s launch, Trevor said: “It’s all been a bit surreal since the documentary aired on RTÉ.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, between the documentary and the book. We’re delighted with the response there has been, and it’s quite clear that it sparked a debate on Seán Quinn and his contribution to the Border counties, and what he has achieved and built.”

Trevor has been doing press interviews on the book and documentary across the length and breadth of Ireland.

Speaking about the reaction, he said: “I think it’s quite clear that it [the rise and fall of Seán Quinn] is seared in the minds of the public on both sides of the Border, but I think we had hoped that, in some regards, that the series and the book would be cathartic for the people of the area.

“The fact that Seán Quinn’s story has [now] been told at that sort of scale, someone said to me it is on an unprecedented scale in what RTÉ did.

“I hope it gives people a full picture of what Seán Quinn did for the area. I think the debate will continue for many years.”

At the time of writing, the book had topped The Irish Times’ non-fiction best seller list for two weeks.

One talking point at the book launch was the issue of comments made in the documentary by former Fine Gael leader, Alan Dukes, when he claimed that Border people “had violence in their blood”.

Speaking on the issue of the controversial comments, Trevor said: “There are a lot of people still hurting from those comments, and they really felt that no matter what happened to Sean Quinn, that Alan Dukes had no understanding and appreciation about people from the Border community, and what they’ve come through.”

When asked if it was after Mr. Dukes’ comments that part of the book was dedicated to Border people, Trevor said: “It was always in the back of my mind [to dedicate the book to them].

“The Seán Quinn story isn’t about one man – it’s about a community, it’s about a geographical area, and you can’t be born and raised in Enniskillen and not feel an affinity for your fellow county men and women.

“When any of us are attacked, it’s almost like all of us are attacked, and it feels like that is what binds us together. By accident of birth, we happen to be born in this part of the world.”

He continued: “I am very proud of that; my family knows how proud I am of that, and dedicating the book to Border people seemed like the right thing to do.

“It was Border people who created that industrial complex down on the Border; Border people who go and work there, and make those some of the best companies on the island of Ireland and in Europe.”

Returning to his home town to launch a book about a Fermanagh man was a highlight for Trevor and the extended Birney family.

He said: “It was great to be back and to have my mum, Jean, and her friend Frances there, [as well as] my brother Ian, and my uncle Derek, and some former neighbours from Derrychara where I grew up, and former colleagues and friends.

Concluding, he said: “I want to thank Denzil McDaniel for what he did in speaking so articulately, and I want to thank Waterstones for putting on the event.”