* Quinn is first major player jailed over economic crisis
* Judge says contempt "nothing short of outrageous"
* Jail term may be delayed to hear Supreme Court appeal
By Sarah O'Connor
DUBLIN, Nov 2 Ireland sentenced former
billionaire Sean Quinn to jail on Friday for failing to disclose
assets he was hiding abroad, completing the fall from grace of
the richest man in Ireland's "Celtic Tiger" boom.
Quinn, whose four billion euro ($5.2 billion) business
empire collapsed after a disastrous investment in the now failed
Anglo Irish Bank, is the first major player jailed in connection
with the country's economic collapse, having come to personify
its boom and bust.
He was found guilty of contempt of court in June for
violating an order not to block state-owned Anglo, since renamed
the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation (IBRC), from seizing
foreign property assets worth an estimated 500 million euros.
He was initially spared prison and ordered to disclose
information regarding assets spread as far afield as Russia,
Ukraine and Belize but Justice Elizabeth Dunne told a Dublin
high court on Friday that Quinn only had himself to blame over
contempt she described as "nothing short of outrageous."
"I cannot ignore the extent and degree of contempt of court
on his part, the appropriate term by reasons of non compliance
with the orders is 9 weeks," said Dunne, who deemed Quinn
"evasive and uncooperative" when giving evidence.
Quinn, 66, sat in court with a tissue held to his face. His
eyes bloodshot, he stared straight ahead as the sentence was
The judge said she was considering placing a stay on the
jail term until Quinn's Supreme Court appeal against his
contempt is heard, but Quinn's lawyers said they would speak to
him to find out if he wanted to start his term immediately.
The case resumes at 1250 GMT.
Quinn's son Sean and nephew Peter, who were also found
guilty of contempt, were handed three-month jail terms in July.
Peter Quinn fled the jurisdiction to Northern Ireland while his
cousin served a full sentence.
Quinn turned a rural quarrying operation on his family farm
into a global business empire only to become the subject of the
largest ever Irish bankruptcy order four years after becoming
its richest man.
He is still regarded by some as a hero due to being a big
employer in his home county of Cavan and thousands of locals,
including sporting figures and politicians, have twice held
marches since August to support him in the court proceedings.