Fintan has some conditions before meeting the poor kids
I’ve made this point here in a number of columns. Last week, I was contacted by a representative of the family to say that this claim (which is the High Court’s, not mine) is “fundamentally incorrect” and offering that “in order for the family to set the record straight and put their side of the story to you, members of the family would like the opportunity to discuss these issues with you on an ‘off the record’ basis.”
My response was, and is, that I’m very happy to meet any members of the Quinn family – on two conditions. One is that the meeting should not be “off the record” – since vast sums of public money are involved here, the public has a right to know any relevant information.
The second is that in advance of such a meeting all documents relevant to the transactions at issue in Miss Justice Dunne’s ruling should be provided to me and/or any other journalist from The Irish Times. This would allow me to formulate informed questions. It seems obvious that, if the family really is concerned to correct alleged misunderstandings of what Mr Justice Peter Kelly has called its “mesmerisingly complex” schemes, it would be anxious to allow access to all the documentation.http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...322585970.htmlIn any case, even with what we do know, it is obvious that some of what the family is claiming is simply untrue. Its document claims, for example, in relation to Quinn Properties Ukraine that “No action was taken by the Quinn family in relation to this asset” – in other words that the family has not tried to siphon money from this particular company. But the High Court ruling details the siphoning off of $500,000 from this company via a bogus contract. Even within the family’s own carefully selective briefings, therefore, there are obvious untruths.
Under these circumstances, it is important that any journalist offered private briefings by the Quinns should insist that meetings be public and that all documents be disclosed. I’ve never met any victim of an injustice who would not agree enthusiastically to those conditions.
If, as they purport to believe, the Quinns have been monstrously traduced by the courts, why would they not do the same? But the Quinn family has rejected my offer of an on-the-record meeting preceded by full disclosure of documents. That offer stands.