28/04/2011

Quinn Backed By Protesting Workers

Fermanagh is in revolt today with news of a second protest by staff from the Quinn Group taking place.

Around 200 workers and supporters have again gathered outside the company's headquarters in Derrylin as a show of support for the firm's founder, local entrepreneur, Sean Quinn.

And it's not just Fermanagh, as there are representatives from both sides of the Irish border involved in the newly formed Cavan, Fermanagh, Leitrim Action Group, who say they represent staff.

Today's new protest follows another on Tuesday, when protesters staged a sit-in at the Quinn Group HQ and said it was a show of support for the founder of the company.

Anglo Irish Bank recently appointed accountants KPMG to take control of the Quinn family shares in the business and appointed a new management team - effectively excluding the famous founder and all his family from the business he founded, but floundered with Mr Quinn and his family owing the bank £2.5bn.

This is the third such protest as, on 18 April, a 20 tonne truck was abandoned outside the group headquarters in Derrylin.

The dumper truck was driven through the main entrance, crashing past number of bollards.

Job security is a continuing concern for the workers, despite all jobs in the Republic of Ireland and NI having been transferred to the joint venture after a five-year restructuring plan was agreed between Anglo and the Quinn Group's lenders, aimed at stabilising the businesses, which are described as "fundamentally good and profitable".

Quinn Group's new Chairman Pat O'Neill told BBC NI that the financial restructuring was "essential for the survival of the business", and said more than 2,600 jobs would be protected.

(BMcC/GK)

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