Yes, it’s not something you’d forget. The transaction limit set by the Irish bank still applies. I don’t remember whether this was €500 or €600 but if you want more than that you just take out your card and start a new transaction. Presuming she wasn’t there every day but say she was there once a week or so then you would be talking about standing at an ATM having to do 12-14 separate transactions one after the other. Unless another family member or Quinn employee was actually holding the card and doing the physical withdrawals…
It seems they do have some records of that. From RTE’s report.
I always lived with the fear of being jumped on by a skanger whenever I withdrew money from any ATM in Blanch. Brave woman.
Especially if you are there every day as Ciara seemingly was. I can imagine every skanger in Mulhuddert hanging around the local ATM from now on saying “Is yUUUur name Quinn Buddh”
Is she up again tomorrow or is that another sister???
Got to wonder whether the Quinns would try a bit harder to be credible if there were cameras in the courtroom. It’s one thing playing the dumb fucker when there’ll just be a written record; quite another when there’ll be video to commemorate it for eternity.
Ciara tried to suppress RTE reporting on the antics of her Contemptous family and tried to keep the complaint itself private…but was too late or something. From the Broadcasting complaints annual report. Jail Time would be the least this woman deserves.
Complaint made by: Ms. Ciara Quinn Ref. No. 4/12
RTÉ 1 Television Prime Time 3rd November 2011 Complaint Summary Ms. Quinn‟s complaint is submitted on behalf of the Quinn family, under the Broadcasting Act 2009, section 48(1)(a)(fairness, objectivity & impartiality in current affairs). The complainant states that the complaint centres around, but is not limited to, the following:-
Accusation of espionage inferring criminal activity;
Predetermining the outcome of a legal case;
The re-broadcasting of material that was entirely out of context;
Lack of Objectivity;
Factual inaccurate reporting.
Accusation of espionage inferring criminal activity The complainant states that, at the start of the programme, the reporter referred to the Quinn family as engaging in “espionage”. The complainant believes that the use of this word can only have intended to mislead viewers into inferring or suspecting the existence of criminal activity by the Quinn family and to sensationalise the report. The purpose, according to the complainant, was to unfairly portray the Quinn family in a negative light.
Broadcasting Complaint Decisions
The complainant, on behalf of the Quinn family, denies that they were engaged in any criminal or illegal activity nor have any of them ever engaged in “espionage” at any time. The complainant claims that the use of the word was quite deliberate and intended to besmirch the reputation of the Quinn family. Predetermining the outcome of legal case taken before the Commercial Court and deliberately portraying the Quinn family negatively thus prejudicing pending hearing. The complainant claims that the programme presented as a matter of fact that the monies advanced by Anglo to Quinn entities are validly due and owing. The complainant states that this is disputed by the Quinn family. She states that no time was given during the programme to an objective or impartial examination of Anglo‟s lending which was for the purpose of supporting its own share price and which fact is a central tenet of the case made by the Quinn family against Anglo. The complainant states that the programme ignored this position entirely and instead concentrated on damning by implication and falsehood the actions of the Quinn family as being underhand and to the detriment of the Irish taxpayer, to whom it was repeatedly suggested that a debt was owed. The complainant further states that were it not for the decision of the previous Irish Government to nationalise Anglo, no suggestion could be made that the Quinn family owes the Irish taxpayer anything. As such, what exists according to the complainant is an allegation that such is the case. This allegation is disputed by the complainant who further states that the presenter had a subjective bias in favour of Anglo in view of the decisions made by the Government and the outcomes of these decisions. Re-broadcasting of material The complainant states that RTÉ disregarded the Guidelines under which it is permitted to broadcast and subjectively edited, through the use of selective segments, a previous interview with Seán Quinn Senior in June 2008. The complainant states that the interview concerned only one issue which was Mr. Quinn‟s attempts to regain control of Quinn Insurance. The complainant claims that the programme-makers ignored their obligation to bring balance and/or context to the re-broadcasted material. The complainant states that the presenter, in his own words, states that he „interrogated‟ Seán Quinn Senior during the interview. The complainant believes that the use of the word “interrogated” clearly pre-supposes the existence of guilt or wrongdoing which is absolutely denied by the complainant. The complainant states that a significant amount of time has elapsed since that interview was recorded and more importantly the context of the interview was dramatically different in circumstances where there was no litigation pending before the Courts when the interview took place. The complainant states that RTÉ took no cognisance of this fact and the segment demonstrates the bias and selective editing used by the programme‟s makers. The complainant states that it appears clear that RTÉ‟s intention in doing so was to suit their own (and possibly Anglo‟s) broadcasting requirements, inter alia, to portray the Quinn family negatively.
Broadcasting Complaint Decisions
Lack of Objectivity The complainant claims that there are multiple examples throughout the programme where impartiality was deliberately ignored to favour Anglo‟s position over that of the Quinn family. The complainant states that RTÉ ignored its obligation to act with impartiality by only broadcasting interviews with persons that were either clearly pro-Anglo or who commented on the legal process without any substantive interrogation of their comments by the programme makers. The complainant states that Anglo‟s legal arguments were referred to during the programme far more often (and in an imbalanced manner) than those of the Quinn family. The complainant further states that no time was given or effort made to objectively examine in an unbiased manner the Quinn family‟s legal position. The complainant believes that the outcome of the Quinn family–Anglo litigation was effectively predetermined by RTÉ before the Court has had an opportunity to hear the facts and the evidence. This is so notwithstanding that RTÉ and Prime Time have, according to the complainant, apparently been supplied with (1) documentation which details the Quinn family position; and (2) the contact details of people who, if interviewed, could have added balance to the programme. Additional interviewees included Concerned Irish Citizens. Factually Inaccurate Reporting The complainant claims that the Programme made a number of factually inaccurate statements as follows:
The programme repeatedly made reference to legal disputes in Ireland, Ukraine, India, Cyprus, Sweden and Russia which allegedly involve the Quinn family. The complainant states that this is incorrect and states that the Quinn family initiated proceedings in Cyprus and Ireland and are not involved in any other legal disputes with Anglo in any other jurisdictions. While Anglo is involved in disputes in the Ukraine and Russia, the complainant states that the Quinn family are not involved or represented in any of those cases.
The programme states that Anglo has called in a “€3.5m loan for home improvements” against Seán Quinn Senior and Patricia Quinn. The complainant states that this is incorrect and that no such loan exists. Factually, a facility was offered to Mr. and Mrs. Quinn but was not drawn down. In fact it appears, according to the complainant, that a €3m loan was advanced to Quinn Limited, a corporate entity, in lieu of the offer made to Mr. and Mrs. Quinn. Indeed the loan documentation does not refer to “home improvements”.
The programme implies that a connection exists between the €500m value of Quinn International Property companies and the €500m advanced by Anglo in December 2007. The complainant states that this implication was clearly intended to mislead viewers. The complainant states that the Quinn family and related entities did not acquire any properties in or after December 2007. The programme further implied that Anglo funded the acquisition and/or construction of properties (within the Quinn International Property group) and is therefore entitled to them.
Broadcasting Complaint Decisions
The complainant states that this is also incorrect and had the programme makers checked the facts they would have ascertained that all funds advanced by Anglo from September 2007 onwards were used by Anglo to support its own share price. Although that fact is the crux of the Quinn family litigation against Anglo and is entirely central to the dispute, it was simply ignored in the programme.
The programme states that the security arrangements in place in respect of foreign assets are Irish and “Governed by Irish Law”. Again, this is factually incorrect according to the complainant.
In summary, the Quinn family believes this programme is based on inaccuracies, speculation and bias by a state corporation towards the Quinn family in favour of a state controlled bank. Broadcaster Response: Response to BAI by RTÉ RTÉ response addressed all five element of the complaint from Ms. Quinn‟s complaint. The broadcaster states that, at the outset, it is important to note a number of points, namely,
The content of the report is backed up by court documents, official papers and legal affidavits;
The report was based on information and documentation that can be verified through a legitimate paper trail;
The programme laid out the facts of the history of the dispute and set out the opposing sides of various legal actions, and sought comment from the most informed voices;
The programme was broadcast just days before an insurance compensation fund was established to cover solvency issues within Quinn Insurance. That levy will impact upon the insurance prices for Irish insurance customers. As such, the decision to broadcast the programme at that time was a matter of public interest;
The programme covered a number of other issues that are of the utmost public interest such as:
- The current financial situation within the Quinn Group;
- The numerous legal disputes involved the Quinn family, Seán Quinn and Anglo Irish bank (or Irish Bank Resolution Corporation). Again, the outcome of these legal disputes is of significant material interest to the Irish state.
In summary, the broadcaster claims that as such, the programme was broadcast at an extremely appropriate time and dealt with issues of national importance. The broadcaster‟s response deals with the five complaints individually.
Broadcasting Complaint Decisions
Accusations of Espionage inferring criminal activity The broadcaster states that this portion of the complaint centres around two points. First, that the programme did not include denials made by the Quinn family in relation to court actions taken by IRBC/Anglo Irish Bank. Second, the family believes the use of the word espionage was designed to “portray the Quinn family in an unfair light”. Regarding the use of the word „espionage‟, the broadcasters states that the use of this word was designed to highlight a myriad of allegations and counter allegations made by both sides and do not refer specifically to either Anglo Irish Bank or the Quinn family. Furthermore, the broadcaster states that the Quinn family has accused the Irish government (and the bank) of working against them with a foreign government. The family has also accused Anglo of “illegally obtained private, privileged and confidential information belonging to the Quinn family”. Given both these facts, the broadcaster believes the use of the word was justified and was not intended to mislead viewers into inferring or suspecting the existing of criminal activity by the Quinn family or with a view to portraying them in a negative light. In their complaint to the BAI, the family states they are vigorously defending these cases and that those denials were “not brought to viewers‟ attention”. The broadcaster states that if this was true, this would be a serious allegation by Ms. Quinn and her family. However, the broadcaster states that even a cursory viewing of the programme would dispel this accusation as false and inaccurate. Predetermining the outcome of cases that are currently before the Commercial Court and deliberately portraying the Quinn family negatively thus prejudicing pending litigation RTÉ states that it is aware of its legal obligations in this regard and does not accept that any prejudice has been caused by its report. RTÉ also notes that it is the court that adjudicates on such matters and therefore believes that it is outside the remit of the BAI to comment on this aspect of the complaint. Notwithstanding this, the broadcaster states that the family has made a large number of accusations under this heading. The broadcaster states that it would appear that the main point is that their court cases have been prejudiced because Prime Time did not provide their arguments. The broadcaster states that their response to the complainant and the BAI should make clear that this is incorrect, and the court pleadings of the Quinn family are referenced heavily in the piece. Furthermore, the broadcaster states that it is difficult to see how restating their own arguments could have any impact upon future legal actions. It is therefore hard to see how this could be deemed to be prejudicial to their legal action. In relation to Anglo‟s legal action against the family, the broadcaster states that this piece provides numerous denials by the Quinn Family to the allegations made by Anglo. Again, the piece merely restated arguments and allegations made in court papers and courtrooms. The family states that the quote from Seán Quinn was used out of context. The broadcaster states that the transcript of the interview proves this is not the case. The family also suggests that there should be no comment on the case pending its final outcome. However, given the scale of and potential cost of the people of Ireland (some €2.8 billion), the broadcaster states that it is clearly in the public interest to analyse the arguments that have been made in formal court documents.
Broadcasting Complaint Decisions
Re-broadcast of material that is out of context It is the view of the broadcaster that the main focus of this element of the complaint relates to the decision to rebroadcast sections of the June 2010 interview with Seán Quinn (and not June 2008 as the family now acknowledges). In their initial complaint to RTÉ, the family stated that the context has changed as there was no litigation on-going at the time the interview was conducted. Although this is not mentioned in this new complaint, the broadcasters states that it is worth noting that the commencement of litigation does not change a position. This new complaint seems to suggest that Mr. Quinn‟s interview “concerned only one issue which was to regain control of Quinn Insurance”. The broadcaster states that Prime Time was not aware of Mr. Quinn‟s personal agenda for giving an interview, but the interview dealt with far more issues than his effort to reclaim control of the group. In total, the interview ran to nearly 45 minutes and covered all aspects of his dealings with Anglo and his various business dealings. At the time of the interview, Mr. Quinn was still fighting for control of his business empire. Since the interview took place, a share receiver was installed over the Quinn Group, while Quinn Insurance has been sold. These are significant developments. The broadcaster states that the piece addresses those developments, and puts his comments of 18 months ago within today‟s context. In summary, the broadcaster states that the programme did explain the changed circumstance between the initial interview and his current position. All quotes were rebroadcast with their original meaning and context. Furthermore, the broadcaster states that it is meaningless to suggest that the use of the phrase “interrogate the interrogation” demonstrates a lack of impartiality. Lack of Objectivity The complaint states that the programme should have entered into a debate about the decision to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank. The broadcasters states that Prime Time and RTÉ have given a great deal of broadcast time analysing that decision previously and the piece did not attempt to revisit, yet again, the previous government‟s banking decisions. The fact remains that the government did nationalise Anglo Irish Bank, and as such, its liabilities became the liabilities of the taxpayer. As such, the piece was not about a decision several years previous to nationalise a financial institution but about on-going series of disputes between the nationalised bank and Seán Quinn, and the Quinn family and the resulting liabilities. The broadcaster also notes that the complaint had issues with the contributors used and in this regard, the broadcaster stands by the credentials of all of the people interviewed. Factually Inaccurate Reporting The complaint contains a number of sub-headings on this point including: Foreign Legal Cases The broadcaster states that the programme referenced a range of relevant court cases taken by Anglo and by the Quinn family members. It states that, while not all cases directly involve the Quinn family, all of the cases relate to buildings or assets that the Quinn family, or representatives thereof, are directly involved with or linked to. A number of cases are in the name of companies connected with the properties and not named individuals. The broadcast is therefore accurate.
Broadcasting Complaint Decisions
€3.5 million loan The broadcaster states that IRBC (Anglo) stated in depositions lodged to the court that the loan was for the purpose of home improvement. Credit committee documentation in relation to the loan also refers to it as for the purpose of home improvements. The loan was referred to in court as both a personal loan and a home loan. In court, Mrs. Quinn said she did not receive the money for her home. However, in relation to Mrs. Quinn’s argument that she did not receive the money, Mr. Justice Peter Kelly said that “whether it was used to complete the decoration of the Quinn home or for something else was a matter for the borrowers”. The broadcaster states that programme was therefore accurate in this regard. €500 million cash advanced in December 2007 The complainant states that programme implies that a connection exists between the €500m value of Quinn International Property companies and the €500m advanced by Anglo in December 2007. The broadcaster state that at no point was it suggested that they were the same funds. The purpose of the graphic used in the programme was merely to highlight the enormous sums of money involved. The broadcaster states that the Quinn family borrowed significant sums of money from Anglo Irish Bank totaling €2.8 billion. On one day, in December 2007, the bank lent the family €500 million. This is clearly stated in the piece. It is factually correct. Furthermore, the broadcaster states that, given that the family did borrow €500 million to fund property acquisitions, it is hard to see how this statement could cause them any problem. This graphic used in the programme was one of a number of graphics used in the piece to signify the enormous sums of money involved. Security Arrangements The broadcaster states that in the first complaint to RTÉ, the family took exception with a statement from a legal expert, Dr. Deirdre Ahern. They quoted her as saying: “The security arrangements are Irish and are governed by Irish law.” In his response, the reporter Ian Kehoe explained that the Quinn family had somehow taken this one line out of context; out of the full quote; and not listened to the overall quote. The overall quote states: “The security arrangements are Irish and are governed by Irish law. But they relate to security over shares in companies as part of an international property group. So there is an incredibly complex structure; there is a tension between, on the one hand these companies being located in other jurisdictions and therefore saying should we not sue in those jurisdictions, and the actual personal defendants, the family members, the majority of whom are located in Ireland. “ The broadcaster states that the family has misinterpreted Dr. Ahern‟s statement by only drawing significance to her first line, and not the entire quote. The family states that the main point to come across is that the security arrangements are Irish. In fact, the purpose of the quote was to show the legal complexity and absence of certainty. The broadcaster states that any clear reading of the full quote makes this clear. Indeed, the Quinn family claims that there are no Irish security arrangements currently being contested in the court.
Broadcasting Complaint Decisions
Decision of Compliance Committee The complaint concerns an edition of RTÉ‟s Prime Time that focused on issues relating to the financial affairs of the Quinn Business Group and the Quinn family. The complaint concerns a range of elements contained in this programme. In particular, the complainant states that the programme:
- Lacked both objectivity and fairness in the manner in which it was produced and presented.
- Was factually inaccurate on a range of issues.
- Presented a re-broadcast of an interview with Mr. Seán Quinn out of context and included an unfair analysis of the interview by contributors to the programme. More generally, the complainant questions the suitability of the contributors chosen by the programme-makers to comment on the topic of the programme.
- Had the effect of pre-determining the outcome of a legal investigation.
- Inappropriately and unfairly characterised the Quinn family‟s approach to business as dishonest and involving espionage.
The complaint was submitted on behalf of the Quinn family, under the Broadcasting Act 2009, section 48(1)(a)(fairness, objectivity & impartiality in current affairs). The complaint included a detailed outline of how, in the complainant‟s opinion, the programme did not comply with the statutory requirements. The Committee considered the programme and the responses of the broadcaster and the complainant. Following a discussion, the Committee has decided to reject the complaint. In doing so, the Committee took into account the following:-
When considering complaints of this nature, it is the role of the Committee to consider whether a programme as broadcast complied with the statutory requirements for fairness, objectivity and impartiality. In this context, the Committee did not adjudicate on a range of issues presented in the complaint that related to determinations of fact. In addition, the issue of whether or not the programme had the effect of pre-determining the outcome of a legal investigation or whether the programme constituted defamation were also considered outside the scope of the Committee‟s role.
The Committee noted that the subjects of the programme had been offered a right of reply by the broadcaster. While the complainant was of the view that it could not avail of this offer due to their involvement in legal proceedings (a view not shared by the broadcaster), the Committee was satisfied that the opportunity had been offered to the complainant to provide direct input into the programme.
The Committee also noted that throughout the programme the perspective of the Quinn family concerning their business dealings and the nature and status of their debt was presented. In the absence of a spokesperson from the Quinn family, the presentation of their views was unavoidably limited.
Broadcasting Complaint Decisions
Regarding the re-broadcast and presentation of an earlier interview with Mr. Seán Quinn; the Committee agreed that the context for this interview was clearly evident in the programme segment where it featured.
While the complainant questioned the suitability of the contributors commenting on this interview and input from other contributors, it is an editorial matter for the broadcaster as to whom it chooses to comment on and analyse news and current affairs stories. It is the role of the Committee to determine whether this input and analysis is fair, objective and impartial. In this regards, the Committee found no evidence from its review of the programme that the contributors displayed any bias or that they lacked objectivity and impartiality.
With regard to the use of the word „espionage‟, the Committee was of the view that the use of this word could not be construed as an accusation of such against the Quinn family or its companies. Rather, the Committee‟s view was that this word was used for dramatic effect to illustrate the somewhat labyrinthine nature of the dispute between the Quinn family, its companies and the IBRC.
Having reviewed the programme in total, it was the Committee‟s view that the programme did not breach the statutory requirements for the fair, objective and impartial treatment of news and current affairs.
The Committee considered the request from the complainant that the complaint would not be made public on account of the ongoing legal proceedings. The Committee agreed that granting this request would not be appropriate on the grounds that the request had been made after the complaint process had commenced. Such requests must be made before the complaints process has commenced.
A link would probably have sufficed…
Is this related to work as a book-keeper or something altogether more sinister!
As far as I am aware you have a choice when applying for Russian visas… a single entry or the slightly more expensive multiple entry visa over a 90 day period. Or something like this.
I can’t imagine ANYTHING more sinister than a family member working as a “book-keeper”!
I guess “bagman” is not gender neutral
Double entry is one of the standard types and has the advantage that the invitation can be obtained more quickly than for a multi-entry visa.
so a 2nd Quinn daughter blows over 300k from the same source in the same yr…and no receipts here also.
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…
She must have become a familiar figure at that ATM. Does anybody remember seeing her there? Would any of the bank or other local camera footage still be around?
I have this vision of her going from front to back of the queue,
again and again and again … a looper in a loop … please let there be pictures!
Would a legal firm in receipt of 600k (and counting) in cash be obliged to report anything regarding money laundering?
Considering they have all been given the same story by their legal team no doubt they have covered their a**es. Unless they are trying to land their old legal team in it
I find that without an active policy of dumping and disposing of documents I end up swamped with paper over time. Normally it’s disposal that needs to be actively managed: left to their own devices documents tend to hang around and by default get “kept” although maybe not tidily.
What’s the running total of how much they got paid last year?
Also does anyone up in Quinn country listen to this testimony and still think the Quinns are the squeaky clean victims?