Seán Quinn says his jailing was wrong

Friday 04 January 2013 11.18
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A sign in Virginia, Co Cavan, welcoming home the businessman
A sign in Virginia, Co Cavan, welcoming home the businessman
Seán Quinn was released from Mountjoy Prison shortly after 9am
Seán Quinn was released from Mountjoy Prison shortly after 9am

Businessman Seán Quinn has been released from Mountjoy Prison after serving nine weeks for contempt of court.

Mr Quinn was released shortly after 9am from the training unit in the prison.

The former billionaire was due for release today.

Mr Quinn said he feels his jailing was wrong and repeated his claim that he has done everything in his power to purge his contempt of court.

In a telephone interview with RTÉ News from his home in Co Cavan, Mr Quinn said he was well able to handle the tough conditions at Mountjoy.

But said he felt it was wrong that he was imprisoned with people who had murdered people and committed horrendous crimes.

He admitted he and his family had made mistakes, but said he had never earned or taken one penny illegally in his life.

Mr Quinn said he had done everything in his power to purge his contempt of court and added that nothing will change even if he was to be left in jail for nine years.

He said his family had made what he called "a dog's ear" of recovering assets, but said they did so because they believed they belonged to the family and not Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr Quinn added that he was happy to be home and delighted to return to his wife and family and was enjoying being with his grandchildren again.

Earlier, in an interview with BBC News, Mr Quinn described his prison stay as "not nice" and not something he deserved. He said he was not used to it.

He said he would not call the experience frightening but said "it would make you think".

It made him think that he was happy to have a good wife and a good family despite what had happened to him in recent years, he said.

Mr Quinn said that he, along with other members of his family, could go back to jail if what he called "this charade" was continued.

Last June, Judge Elizabeth Dunne found Mr Quinn in contempt of court orders prohibiting interference with the Quinn's €500m International Property Group.

The case had been adjourned to allow him take steps to reverse the asset-stripping scheme.

However, IBRC said in court that nothing had been done and no steps had been taken to unwind the scheme.

Mr Quinn, who was jailed on 2 November, was granted temporary release from prison for three days - Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day.