The joint administrators of Quinn Insurance have made publicly available 23 reports into the 13-year administration of the collapsed company, following a High Court application from The Irish Times.
The taxpayer discharged some €1 billion on the collapse of the company of bankrupt former billionaire Seán Quinn, with all motor and home insurance policies funding the losses.
Quinn Insurance DAC was formally wound up last week.
The 13-year administration process and linked litigation led to accountants from Grant Thornton and lawyers receiving some €100 million in professional fees, recent reporting by Irish Times reporter Arthur Beesley revealed.
On Friday, Garvan Corkery, senior counsel for the Grant Thornton joint administrators, said the 23 reports have been provided to Mr Beesley and can be made available to other reporters on request.
Hayes solicitor Jeremy Erwin noted his client, The Irish Times, had made significant efforts to obtain the reports before resorting to bringing a High Court application. The paper was “very grateful” for the court’s intervention, he said.
High Court President Mr Justice David Barniville thanked the joint administrators for making the reports publicly available with very light redactions for commercial sensitivity.
Prior to its court application, The Irish Times had the 23rd and final administrators’ report to the court. However, it could not access the preceding 22 setting out detailed costs of the company’s administration.
When previously contacted by the paper, Grant Thornton and its lawyers said they could not release the records, instead suggesting the documents “should be available” by asking the court. The Courts Service said it does not keep possession of documents, such as these reports, that are submitted as exhibits.
The Irish Times then applied to the High Court President, who last week said the court had “no hesitation” in providing the reports, subject to any redactions necessary for protecting privileged information. The records “should be publicly available”, he said.
Mr Corkery last week said his clients had “no objection in principle” to releasing the reports but needed some time to review them as they were initially provided to the court on a confidential basis for reasons of commercial sensitivity.