Businessman Seán Quinn has been declared bankrupt at the High Court in Belfast.

In a statement, he said the application was made in Northern Ireland because he was "born, reared and worked all my life in County Fermanagh".

The application for voluntary bankruptcy was made through Mr Quinn's lawyer, a licensed insolvency practitioner.

In making the application in Northern Ireland, Mr Quinn will be free to go back into business after one year, rather than the 12 years required by law in the Republic.

Mr Quinn said the vast majority of debt that Anglo Irish Bank (now known as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) maintains is owed is "strenuously disputed".

He said he accepts that he owes just under €200 million to the bank but disputes that he owes a further €2.8bn, which is currently the subject of legal proceedings.

However, he added that he cannot pay those loans which are due.

Mr Quinn said he had worked tirelessly to find a solution to problems which arose from ill-fated investments in Anglo Irish Bank.

He said while he is certainly not without blame, he "like thousands of others in Ireland, incorrectly relied upon the persons who guided Anglo and wrongfully sought to portray a 'blue chip' Irish banking stock".

Mr Quinn said he and his family had been subjected to "relentless negative media coverage over the past three years" and that he had been portrayed as a reckless gambler who bet on a bank.

He said he was not seeking any favours, but asked that the media report the impartial facts rather "than glamorising false accusations and inaccurated leaks emanting from Anglo sources".

The IBRC has issued a statement saying it is examining the validity of Mr Quinn's application for bankruptcy in the light of his residency and business interests in the State.

The bank said that Mr Quinn and his family, who live in Co Cavan, owe the State, through IBRC almost €2.9bn.