Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 08:32 UK

'Richest man' Quinn drops off Irish wealthy list

Sean Quinn started with a single quarry on his father's farm
Sean Quinn and his family were said to be worth 3.8bn euro in 2008

County Fermanagh insurance magnate Sean Quinn has lost a personal fortune of billions, the latest survey of the richest people in NI suggests.

He had £2,295m and was top of the Sunday Times Rich List for NI in 2009.

This year, he does not even feature in the Irish list, indicating that his wealth has plummeted.

The Quinn family and their businesses owe 4bn euros to various banks, the bulk of it to Anglo Irish Bank. But Mr Quinn said the group was "cash rich".

Earlier in April, he told RTE television that the Quinn Group has plenty of money and does not need a cash boost.

"We don't need money, with regard to solvency and a requirement to pay claims,' he said.

Solvency

Mr Quinn said the company had about £1bn in the bank to pay claims and another 400m euro on top of that surplus for solvency.

At the beginning of April, his company, Quinn Insurance, was put into administration after the financial regulator across the border in the Irish Republic said that it had breached key rules governing the insurance market.

Northern Ireland Rich List
1. Lord Ballyedmond, £500m, Pharmaceuticals
2. Kevin and Michael Lagan, £350m, Construction
3. Sam Morrison, £296m, Construction
4. Gerard O'Hare, £220m, Property
5. Shamus Jennings, £166m, Property
6=Frank Boyd, £160m, Property
6=Michael Herbert, £160m, Property and Fast Food
6=John King, £160m, Pharmaceuticals
9. Barney and Frances Eastwood, £150m, Betting Shops
10. Paul and Jeremy Eakin, £122m, Medical Supplies

For 600 people who work for the company in Fermanagh, the future remains uncertain.

Colm Murphy, the compiler of the Irish Sunday Times Rich List, said that the Quinn family had dropped off the list because of "uncertainties about the extent to which their borrowings are covered by their assets".

He explained that the family had run up 4bn euros in loans, the majority for investing in now worthless Anglo-Irish Bank shares.

The fact that the value of their companies - approximately 4bn euro - was matched by their debts, meant that they had dropped from their position at the top of the list two years ago.

Lord Ballyedmond - the multi-millionaire Edward Haughey - tops the new Northern Ireland list.

The 66-year old Unionist peer who owns Newry-based pharmaceutical company Norbrook Laboratories is worth £500m, the list indicates.

Author

Last year, his company unveiled a medical treatment which, it claimed, could revolutionise cattle farming by eliminating parasites.

Second on the list are brothers Kevin and Michael Lagan who have grown their father's Belfast building group to an estimated value of £350m.

At number three is property magnate Sam Morrison, 58, who runs Corbo. He has had a leading role in changing the look of the Boucher Road retail centre in Belfast. The list suggests he is worth about £296m.

At number four is Gerard O'Hare whose portfolio includes Newry-based Quays Shopping Centre. At number five is property holder Shamus Jennings of Ballyrogan Holdings.

On the overall Sunday Times Irish Rich List, the highest new NI entrant is 80-year-old novelist Jack Higgins.

The man who penned The Eagle has Landed, grew up in Belfast but is based in tax haven, Jersey. It is estimated that he has a £53m fortune.

Former English teacher Kevin McNeaney, 67, from Armagh is said to have amassed about £50m with his business Acorn Care and Education, as well as similar past businesses.

Hugh "Curley" Kennedy, 65, enters the rich list with an estimated fortune of £37m after he sold Curley's supermarket and off-licence business to Sainsbury's.



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SEE ALSO
Job losses 'inevitable' at Quinn
23 Apr 10 |  Northern Ireland
Quinn 'doesn't need' cash boost
09 Apr 10 |  Northern Ireland
The threat to the House of Quinn
09 Apr 10 |  Northern Ireland
UK super-rich 'hit in downturn'
25 Apr 09 |  Business
Quinn factories shut temporarily
23 Apr 09 |  Foyle and West
Quinn Group to 'defy recession'
15 Apr 09 |  Northern Ireland
Quinn loses billionaire top slot
12 Mar 09 |  Northern Ireland
Property fuels Irish rich list
29 Apr 07 |  Northern Ireland

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