Seán Quinn is to be granted temporary release from prison over the Christmas period.

The 66-year-old who is serving nine weeks for contempt of court is to be released for 3 days - Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St Stephen's day.

He will not however be free to attend his granddaughter's christening on Saturday.

The decision was made following discussions between the Attorney General, the Prison Service and the Minister for Justice.

The Irish Prison Service said in a statement that the factors cited for consideration in the application include Seán Quinn Senior’s age, previous good character, his behaviour whilst in custody, his long term health difficulties and the health difficulties of his wife Patricia.