There was no doubt that Sean Quinn had come home as he made his way from a local hotel to the temporary stage at the top of Ballyconnell’s Main Street.
The troubled tycoon was met by rounds of applause, cheers and shouts of support from over 7,000 people who travelled from across the country to be there for a special rally on Sunday evening.
A visibly moved Sean Quinn, walking beside his wife and followed by his children and crowds of supporters, didn’t speak at the rally but sat and listened to other speakers including Padraig Donohoe and Patricia Gilheaney from Concerned Irish Citizens; Peter Quinn; Donegal GAA’s Rory Gallagher and Tyrone Manager, Mickey Harte.
Speaking on behalf of the Quinn family, Sean’s daughter Ciara told the crowd “they say when you are in trouble you find out who your true friends are,” before acknowledging the huge support the family had received from so many people since Anglo had staged a ‘hostile takeover’ over the Quinn company.
“My name is Ciara Quinn and myself and my (brothers and sisters) are the true and rightful owners” of the Quinn Group and its associated companies, she told the crowd.
She insisted that she and her siblings were innocent and would “not be Anglo’s scapegoats”.
Ciara remained critical of Anglo’s continued efforts to seize assets she insisted should never have been touched by the bank.
She maintained that the debt owned had not been secured against many of the assets now sought.
“This has been heart-breaking for me and my family to have witness the destruction of our company,” she said.
Openly critical of what she described as Anglo’s bid to blacken her family’s name, Ciara said “make no mistake this is a war and when it ends I and the rest of my family will still be standing,” she said.
Concerned Irish Citizens (CIC) spokesperson, Patricia Gilheaney, is calling on the courts to guarantee ‘natural justice’ for the Quinn Family.
The group has demanded greater transparency on the reasons behind the takeover and also on the number of jobs which had been lost in the last two years and the money she said had been spent on a targeted PR campaign against Sean Quinn and the Quinn family.
CIC have drawn up a list of 21 questions they want answered and they are planning to email to TD in the country.
The Leitrim Observer will be publishing more in-depth coverage of the rally and the speakers as well as local reaction on our website each day this week. See www.leitrimobserver.ie for further details.