ONE of the most hotly anticipated books of 2023 was put on the shelves of Waterstones bookshop in Enniskillen at around 1pm on Wednesday, September 6. Within 10 minutes, The Impartial Reporter purchased the first copy of the book.

Fermanagh-born former billionaire and once the richest man in Ireland, Seán Quinn has released his new memoir, ‘In my Own Words’ which tracks every aspect of his life.

The cover of the book is fixed with the instantly recognisable ‘QUINN’ logo, familiar to many in the Border region and indeed across Ireland, there is no doubt that Quinn’s figure looms large over Ireland.

The book comes in at 242 pages and is Quinn’s chance to reclaim his narrative. However, many of the points raised in the book have already been well covered in Trevor Birney’s documentary, ‘Quinn Country’ which aired in 2022 and his subsequent book, ‘Quinn’. This is not new ground, but it appears that in writing a book in his own words, Quinn believes he is reclaiming the narrative.

Quinn still sees himself as a man of the people, a dedication can say a lot about the intentions of the author and Quinn dedicates this book not to his family or friends, but to all staff who worked “loyally” for the Quinn Group.


Greg Estran, Arney, reading the new Sean Quinn Book.

Greg Estran, Arney, reading the new Sean Quinn Book.


In his introduction, he states his belief that no other group of employees “ever had such a significant impact on rural Ireland,” and refers to himself as captain of their team.

He opens the book with a quote from Booker T. Washington which states: “A lie doesn’t become the truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good just because it is accepted by a majority.”

This set the tone for how Quinn wants to present himself and ultimately his downfall in his book.

He uses the preface to double down on what he has said on the record saying many times, he states that he never lied or misled “a Garda, solicitor, auditor, banker, board member, or any of the thousands of staff who for

worked for me.”

He further distances himself from the September 2019 attack on Kevin Lunney saying he was not involved in the attack, “either arranging or paying for it” and referred to it as a “barbaric act.”

As for the pictures, often what people view first when looking at memoirs, Quinn portrays his life, and indeed his family’s life over a series of personal photos; there are weddings, graduations, and family fishing trips all featured in what are very normal scenes typical of a family from the Border region

Perhaps, what stands out and sets the Quinn family apart from ‘normal’ Border famillies is the inclusion of photos of Quinn with political leaders including: Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, Tony Blair, Charles Haughey and a picture of him playing golf with Enda Kenny before he was appointed Taoiseach.

He also publishes photos of former Quinn businesses with QUINN branding intact.

In the final picture page, Quinn publishes a map of local and international Quinn Group locations showing the spread of his empire, a private text message exchange between his wife Patricia and Marianne McCaffrey, wife of Liam and a picture of John McCartin dismantling an Aventus sign.

The section on Quinn’s early life is short but has plenty of name checks for residents of the Teemore and Derrylin area as well as the wider Fermanagh and Cavan area in the early chapters of the book, he later name checks many of those involved in his early life; family, friends, teammates and neighbours.

This makes for what only can be described as an intrinsic history of the area, Troubles related incidents are recorded, Quinn’s playing career with Teemore Shamrocks GFC gets a mention as well as many other community events.


The new Seán Quinn book being placed on shelves in Waterstones, Enniskillen

The new Seán Quinn book being placed on shelves in Waterstones, Enniskillen


Quinn’s love of the Slieve Russell Hotel has been well documented but in the book he states that it and the glass factory (now Encric) were “the two local businesses I had the most pride in.” He also reveals that he hopes that the Slieve Russell Hotel will return to the family.

The book is dense, a large majority of the book is made up of behind-the -scenes details including documents from the period where Quinn’s empire began to collapse, it does not make easy reading for those who are not well versed in business jargon and the inclusion of accounts and a solicitors’ letters makes for a clunky read.

Toward the book’s close, Quinn makes some reference to the attack on Kevin Lunney and recalls how his family asked him if he would be blamed for the attack when news first emerged and claims he knew Cyril McGuiness or Dublin Jimmy, “by reputation and by sight”.

This reveals he did not stand inside Ballyconnell church for three years following Parish Priest Father Oliver O’Reilly homily about ‘the paymaster’ in the wake of the Lunney attack and said the Parish Priest should have “read the commandment, ‘Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour,” before speaking to his congregation and the assembled media.

There is no doubt that this book will fly off shelves and despite some ten years having passed since the vast majority of events covered in this book, tensions in the Border area remain.

Whether the book inflames or de escalates those tensions remains to be seen.

Throughout his autobiography, Seán Quinn hits out at those he claimed betrayed him following the loss of the Quinn Group.

Liam McCaffrey, Kevin Lunney, and Dara O’Reilly, once trusted lieutenants of Mr. Quinn are the target as he sets about, as the book claims, “to tell the truth about what happened”.


© picture by John McVitty, Enniskillen, Co.Fermanagh, N. Ireland - 07771987378 © The Aventas Group sign being removed.

© picture by John McVitty, Enniskillen, Co.Fermanagh, N. Ireland - 07771987378 © The Aventas Group sign being removed.


Former director John McCartin is also criticised. Mr. McCartin was a Fine Gael councillor in Leitrim, who was close to Leo Varadkar, and a regular visitor to the Quinn house. Following a meeting between several individuals, Mr. Quinn claimed that Mr. McCartin told Patricia Quinn: “Patricia, I won’t allow those boys to f**k you over again.”

In an earlier passage, Mr. Quinn wrote: “I am still haunted by John McCartin’s hypocrisy in removing the old Aventas signage on the outside of the building with a sledgehammer, with great excitement, to reveal the old Quinn Group signage underneath. It was seen as a symbolic moment.”

All this led to Mr. Quinn’s confidence in Mr. McCartin being “completely blown”.

The book also contains extracts from recordings of a meeting at which Mr. McCartin spoke in December 2015 at the packaging factors in Ballyconnell as well as an affidavit from a businessman who detailed a conversation he had with Mr. McCartin in which they discussed how Mr. McCartin could benefit from the dealing around the former Quinn businesses.