The businessman Seán Quinn has said it is "beyond comprehension" that people who were his friends, his staff and his neighbours would blame his family for being involved in criminal activity and for abducting the businessman Kevin Lunney.

He said he accepted that his criticism of some of his former friends and staff had "created a toxic climate" but he said what has been done to him was wrong and that he wanted to tell his side of the story.

Mr Quinn said: "If telling the truth is an incitement to hatred, then I'm guilty."

Mr Quinn was speaking in the first episode of Quinn Country, a three-part television documentary made by Fine Point films which aired on RTÉ tonight.

The filmmakers had unprecedented access to the former billionaire and in the first episode Mr Quinn talks about his family background.

He describes how he dropped out of school and worked on his father's farm before developing a gravel and concrete business which he grew into the Quinn empire which came to its peak during the Celtic Tiger years.

"I was the dunce who stayed at home milking the cows," he said.

But Mr Quinn said that he was "too greedy" to stay in farming because the money involved was too slow for him and that is why be branched out into other businesses, saying "running a business always came easy to me".

"There's achievers in life and there’s destructors in life. I'm one of the achievers. But I want to be remembered as the man they tried to bury but they weren't able to bury," he said.

"What's been done to me is wrong. I have made plenty of mistakes. But I think what's important is that the Quinns tell the true story," he said.

"They turn around now and blame us for being involved in criminal activity and abducting Kevin Lunney. It's beyond comprehension that your own friends and your own staff and your own neighbours would do it to you."

In the documentary, Mr Quinn's wife Patricia also describes a local priest as a "backstabber". The priest had condemned the abduction of Kevin Lunney from the pulpit and had called for the paymaster and the godfather behind it to be condemned.

Patricia Quinn said: "I'd be very disappointed with the priest. A local man who used to come in here...I'd be fierce disappointed with him. I'll never forgive him, never, never. A backstabber - that's what he is - a pure backstabber."

Alan Dukes who was the Chairman of IBRC from 2008 to 2013 described Mr Quinn as a man with an ego who saw himself as above the law and politics.

"He's not only above regulation, he's above politics. He doesn't believe that politicians have any place in the world because he doesn't believe he needs anybody else to guide how he does business or to lay down rules for how you do business," said Mr Dukes.

Speaking about his decision to invest in Contracts for Difference in relation to shares in Anglo Irish Bank, Mr Quinn said he took money out of good companies to invest in the bank.

"I was impressed with David Drumm and I was impressed with Sean Fitzpatrick. I thought they were two good operators. I thought they were doing all the right things."


Episodes 2 and 3 will be broadcast at 9:35pm on RTÉ One over the next two nights and will be available to stream on the RTÉ Player.