An Irish entrepreneur has said he would not be interested in purchasing the Slieve Russell Hotel “without the blessing of Seán Quinn and the Quinn family”.

Seán Gallagher, a property entrepreneur and a former Presidential candidate for the Republic of Ireland confirmed that he is interested in acquiring the iconic Ballyconnell property once owned by former billionaire Seán Quinn.

In a statement to The Currency, Mr Gallagher said: “I grew up in Cavan so I know how important the Slieve Russell is to the county. It is an asset that is iconic in the region.

“It is an important employer that makes an important contribution to the tourism infrastructure of the region.

“I can confirm that I am interested in acquiring it.

“I would not be interested in acquiring the hotel without the blessing of Seán Quinn, the Quinn family and the local community.”

The Slieve Russell once the jewel in the crown of Seán Quinn’s empire is understood to have a price tag of up to £26 million (€30m).

The 224-bedroom hotel includes a spa and leisure centre, set on 300 acres, which comprises an 18-hole championship golf course and a nine-hole academy course.

The hotel is hugely popular in the Border region with many travelling from Fermanagh to avail of its services over the years.

Seán Quinn returned to the hotel last year to officially launch his best-selling book, ‘In My Own Words’ in an event attended by Mr. Gallagher.