News

Sean Quinn supporter is caught on camera sabotaging wind farm

NewsBy Nicola Tallant
Tommy McManus
Tommy McManus
Tommy McManus
Tommy McManus
Access is blocked
Access is blocked
Access is blocked
Access is blocked
Sean Quinn
Sean Quinn

This is former billionaire businessman Sean Quinn’s greatest supporter – a man willing to lay down his life for the boss.

Grandad Tommy McManus is being investigated for continued attacks on a wind farm at Snugboro – one of the few former Quinn Group businesses sold to an outside investor. However, when contacted by the Sunday World he was too shy to talk.

Earlier this month, mounds of gravel and giant boulders were placed on the Ballyconnell Road in Co. Cavan in order to block the only public route into the farm.

Over the course of a number of days the boulders were removed with a digger by security officers working for the company. But each time they were cleared, the road was blocked up again.

Three weeks ago there was a stand-off when McManus, who works as a security officer in the neighbouring Quinn Cement, and his pal Fergus Heavey arrived and blocked off the freshly-cleared roadway with a jeep.

As our exclusive photographs show, the pair were ordered to remove the jeep by gardai. But the duo proceeded to lie down on the road, offering themselves as human shields to anyone who wished to pass and conduct their business at the wind farm.

Security guards vacated the area to allow tensions to cool down. However, the Sunday World was watching as, hours later, McManus returned to the road to check that the coast was clear.

Our hidden camera captured him checking the road and then crouching in a bush to make a telephone call. Minutes later, a massive yellow truck is seen driving up the road and dumping giant 8ft boulders across the road to close it off once and for all.

The blocking of the public road means that the only access workers and bosses now have to Snugboro wind farm is either to park at the boulders, climb over them and walk the rest of the way, or through a gate manned by McManus through the neighbouring Quinn Cement.

Access through the Quinn Cement facility was guaranteed as part of the sale of the wind farm by receivers, who moved in to take over the businesses owned by the former billionaire in 2011.

However, sources say that the gate is constantly locked and McManus is often so busy at the neighbouring facility he sometimes takes up to an hour to find the time to open it for anyone wanting to access Snugboro.

The closure of the public road is the latest in an ongoing battle for the former companies which Quinn lost after he went bust.

A deep-seated loyalty to the former billionaire runs so deep that it reads like a scene from a John B Keane play.

The Sunday World can reveal that McManus was once tried in the Special Criminal Court in relation to explosive charges, but was aquitted. He also once fined in relation to selling ‘Easter Lilies’ – the Provo remembrance flower.

He was contacted three times by the Sunday World to offer an explanation to his bizarre actions, but hung up the phone each time. 

McManus is far braver on his Facebook page where he rants: “Quinns windmills… tension between locals and outside security… more angry people block roads again… Gardai impound my jeep… we will never give in to these thugs… prepare for war.”

He goes on to name a local garda and says: “**** the clown… ah its not his fault he was born that way I’ve seen other rookies arrive in this area going make changes… he will learn it… ***** u r on a learning curve relax chill out learn from the locals.”

The blocking of the main road to Snugboro wind farm is seen as a direct attack on a business that was once owned by Quinn.

Amazingly, it comes despite the fact Quinn is settling back in his former Group premises in Derrylin after a buyout by former executives who have employed him as a ‘consultant’. 

Receivers were appointed to take over his businesses in an effort by the State to get back some of the €2.8billion owed to a state-owned bank  by the Quinn group.

While Quinn was ousted, a sick campaign – masterminded by a hardcore element with links to rogue Provos – was launched against the businesses, the name of which was changed to Aventas Group.

Offices and equipment were repeatedly damaged and set on fire in an effort to frighten off any investors. Quinn Glass and his former wind farms were sold to outside investors. 

The former Quinn premises was eventually purchased by the Quinn Business Retention Company – set up by former executives of the group and local supporters of the businessman.

The new group has been renamed – Quinn Industrial Holdings Ltd.

Former top executives with the Quinn Group including Liam McCaffrey, Dara O’Reilly and Kevin Lunney are involved in the new venture.