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Sean Quinn’s Son, Nephew Face Jail for Irish Court Contempt

The son and nephew of Ireland’s former richest man, Sean Quinn senior, will be jailed for three months after failing to disclose assets in line with a court order, a judge said today.

Sean Quinn junior and Peter Quinn were given the sentences by Judge Elizabeth Dunne in Dublin today. The threat of punitive sanction was left over Sean Quinn senior by the judge, who found the three men in contempt of court last month, until it was possible to see what steps he takes to deal with the matter.

Judge Dunne rejected a suggestion from Quinn’s lawyers that jailing Quinn junior was a “medieval” approach to forcing his father to co-operate. “This is a practical way of trying to encourage the situation in relation to compliance with the orders,” she said.

Quinn, his son and nephew continued to place assets outside the reach of nationalized Irish Bank Resolution Corp. formerly Anglo Irish Bank Corp., after the court ordered them to stop last year, Judge Dunne said on June 29. At that point, Dunne put aside “punitive” sanctions as she made an order for asset disclosure.

Paul Gallagher, a lawyer for Irish Bank Resolution Corp. said in court today that the company isn’t happy with the level of disclosure from the Quinns since Judge Dunne made the order. The former cement-to-insurance Quinn senior was declared bankrupt in January, two months after a court ruled he owed the bank 2.16 billion euros ($2.6 billion). Quinn was worth about $6 billion in 2008, Forbes magazine said.

Quinn junior and Peter Quinn can apply to exit jail if they can show they have or are willing to purge their contempt, Judge Dunne said. She directed police today to bring Peter Quinn before the court after his lawyer said his client was unable to attend because of illness.

Sean Quinn senior declined to comment to reporters today. Lawyers for the Quinns are appealing the June 29 contempt finding.

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