The assistant manager of the Donegal senior football team, Rory Gallagher, has exlained why he spoke out in support of the Quinn family at a huge rally held in Ballyconnell on Sunday last.
Dismissing some reports in relation to his attendance which were carried in other media outlets as being “exaggerated” he said all he wanted for the Quinn family was “a fair hearing”.
Now based in Killybegs where he manages the large SuperValu store in the town, Gallagher revealed that he has been a close personal friend of the jailed Sean Quinn Jnr. for nearly 20 years.
The attending crowd gave the Belleek native and All-Ireland winning coach a rousing cheer when he was introduced to them in Ballyconnell as the man who helped to take Sam Maguire to Donegal last month.
Addressing the crowd which had gathered to show their support for the Quinn family, Gallagher said “There are two reasons why I’m here.
“Firstly I have been friends with Sean Jnr. for 18 or 19 years. We were friends during our time in under-age football and then playing county football together in Fermanagh and later club in Dublin,”
“Sean Jnr is very loyal and honest person - when you weren’t doing well on a football field he wasn’t afraid to tell you. He was honest.
“He didn’t say you were unlucky - he just told you straight. He is loyal, a very loyal person.”
Yesterday Sean Quinn Jnr. lost his Supreme Court appeal against a finding of contempt of court and a three-month sentence for that contempt – but he will still be released next Friday.
Yesterday’s decision comes just days ahead of a review of Sean Quinn Snr’s contempt of court case which could see Ireland’s former richest man jailed for breaking court orders not to interfere with the family’s €500m international property group
Gallagher continued, “I don’t know the Quinn girls that well, but I know their father, Sean.
“They are honest people, they are ordinary people and they are loyal.”
“At this stage people have their own views about what went on. What the Quinn family are looking for now is a fair hearing which I believe everyone is entitled to and I support them in that.”
“That is the second reason I am here - a fair hearing, nothing more or nothing less.”
The crowd was also addressed by Tyrone manager Mickey Harte as well as Peter Quinn Snr, a past president of the GAA.
Mr. Gallagher sat on the platform throughout the rally, which heard calls for the Quinn Group of businesses to be returned “to their rightful owners.”