How did the fairies bring down Sean Quinn?
Extravagant misuse of his massive, massive wealth wasn’t what caused Sean Quinn’s demise, fairies were. Want to know why? Come this way...
So you’re telling me that the reason Sean Quinn’s empire went down the toilet is because of a load of old fairies. You’re having me on.
Not exactly. Before I go on, let me clarify that this story is not based on what Rafa Benitez would call ‘facts’ but on a belief that Quinn messed with the natural order of things, with superstition, with luck, ideals that still have a massive place in Irish society, even if we are living in the 21st century.
Elaborate a little for me...
Well, you know how obsessed we are with superstition. Would you, for example, walk under a ladder? Would you sh*t your pants worrying about the next seven years if you broke a mirror? Have you any foibles about stepping on cracks in the pavement? If you got your shirt wet while washing the dishes, would you be certain to end up marrying a drunk?
You mightn't think so and they might be only Old Wives’ Tales, but a certain generation of Irish people swear by such beliefs as if they were gospel.
So what did Quinn do?
19 years ago, when Sean had a lot more dough than the mere €11,000 he claims to have in the bank today, he decided to expand a quarry for Quinn Concrete, only to met with the none too insignificant obstacle of the Aughrim Wedge Tomb, which had been in existence for 4,000 years two miles outside Ballyconnell in County Cavan.
Not to be deterred, Quinn sought and was granted permission by the Office of Public Works to move it. The tomb was subsequently excavated and moved to the grounds of the Slieve Russell Hotel, the luxurious pad that Quinn owned back in the day.
So it was moved, it wasn’t like they destroyed it, what’s the big deal?
Hold on there, how would you feel if you were uprooted from where you had previously been undisturbed for 4,000 years by some young upstart who thought he owned the place, and for a while actually did own the place.
Going back to the superstition argument earlier on, numerous people in the area thought that it was just plain bad luck to mess with tradition, to mess with a monument that existed when pagan gods ruled the roost. Essentially, they figured, Quinn would eventually get his comeuppance.
According to Seamus McFlionn, a folklore expert from the University of Ulster: "Cavan is full of ancient sites like these and therefore many people there would be more superstitious about moving any ancient rath, tomb or fairy tree. People do genuinely believe that to do so brings bad luck. It's part of our ancient Irish history."
It mightn’t have happened immediately; in fact the gods waited with Roy Keane-like patience to get their revenge, but once they did, it was even more crushing than that infamous tackle on Alfe-Inge Haaland.
So what does this whole thing have to do with fairies?
Not much I’m afraid, the link is tenuous at best. Basically, as Seamus McFlionn mentioned above, moving the tomb incurs the same bad luck as moving a fairy tree, so maybe the fairies occupying the fairy trees surrounding the tomb united with it in solidarity and decided to exact stunning retribution on Quinn’s debt-riddled ass.
Am I the only one that things this is all a big pile of crap?
No. When asked about this tall tale, local Ballyconnell butcher Gerard Crowe said: "It's a load of auld rubbish. . . Simple as that."
I would also tend to agree with you. Sean Quinn lost his €4.7 billion fortune because of arrogance, greed and some ridiculous gambling on Anglo shares and not because of some mythical messing about. Any fairy could tell you that.