Speech under Adj on Insurance Industry (Quinn Insurance) dated 12 Jan 2011

Sitting Time 20:00 (8 o’clock)

Sitting Date 12/01/2011

Insurance Industry

Senator Diarmuid Wilson: I wish to share time with Senator O’Reilly.

An Cathaoirleach: Is that agreed? Agreed.

Senator Joe O’Reilly: I thank my constituency colleague, Senator Wilson, for sharing his time on this crucial issue for our county. I walked in to the Kilmore Hotel in Cavan yesterday and met a crowd of young people who were under enormous stress. They were very strained and concerned about their mortgages, jobs, families and, in many instances, their children. They comprised a large segment of the 497 people who work in Quinn Direct in Cavan. There are in excess of 1,400 people employed in Quinn Group Limited and Quinn Insurance in Cavan.
Quinn Insurance Limited has been a profitable insurance company over the past ten years. It made significant profits of €16 million in the first quarter of 2010. It is a viable, profitable business. What is proposed in the submission from the Quinn board is that it would manage the business, take it over in the coming years and repay the debt to the taxpayer. The only way the debt will be paid to the taxpayer is through the proposition from the Quinn board because it would get the money directly back to the taxpayer.
We spend millions of euro on job creation and enticing jobs into the country. These are vital jobs in a depressed part of the country which could not be readily replaced and it is vital we keep them. I also support the proposition from the Quinn board as outlined by Senator Wilson. It is the one which is most likely to keep the jobs in Cavan. I have no other priority in addressing this question other than to keep the jobs in the county and keep our young people working there. The Quinn operation has transformed the county.
I am aware the Minister of State has strong connections with the county and I ask him to assure the House that the most senior members of Government, such as the Minister for Finance or the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, become proactively involved in dealing with the administrators. I ask that sanity would prevail and that we would keep young people working in County Cavan. Otherwise they are destined for the emigration ship, families will be broken up, homes will be sold and children will suffer. It is an appalling vista. A human crisis is looming in an area where there is no potential for jobs to be replaced.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website