The Quinn family have responded to jail sentences handed down to Seán Quinn Jr and his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn claiming that the wrong people were going to prison, while the guilty ones remained free.

The two were sentenced yesterday at the High Court in Dublin to three months in jail after being found to be in contempt of court.

Seán Quinn Jr spent his first night in Mountjoy Prison but prison authorities decided that he will serve out the remainder of his three-month sentence in the jail's Training Unit - which is a semi-open, low security facility.

This afternoon, the Quinn family issued a statement to RTÉ News which is understood to be a reference to Seán Quinn Jr.

It said: "Ireland today is imprisoning people who have been defrauded of millions by banks whom they have never met or never borrowed a penny from, while the real perpetrators continue to walk free."

Meanwhile, the search for Peter Darragh Quinn continues after he failed to turn up in court yesterday and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Gardaí visited his known addresses in the Republic of Ireland but his home is in Co Fermanagh, which is outside of garda jurisdiction.

He was not at home today when RTÉ called to the house close to Lisbellaw in Co Fermanagh, though locals reported seeing some activity there earlier in the week.

The PSNI say a European Arrest Warrant has not yet been issued for his arrest and for now, the matter lies with the Dublin courts.

Legal sources say that because this is not a criminal offence, a European Arrest Warrant is highly unlikely to be issued leaving Peter Darragh Quinn potentially outside of the reach of the gardaí.

Barrister Paul Anthony McDermott says that when somebody who is in contempt of an Irish court is outside of the jurisdiction, all a foreign police force can do is keep an eye on them and provide intelligence to gardaí here.

A further statement to RTÉ from Peter Darragh's cousin, Ciara Quinn, said she had not spoken to him and did not know where he is.

However she said Peter Darragh Quinn had been asked by a court to do something that he could not do and that had left him in a very frightening position.

Judge Elizabeth Dunne has made it clear that at any time the Quinns can come back into court and purge their contempt by reversing the transactions relating to the multi-million euro asset-stripping scheme.

The threat of prison also remains for Seán Quinn Sr who was given more time yesterday to comply with the court.