Northern Ireland news

Irish News among media organisations to have articles pulled by Google 'at request of Sean Quinn family'

The Irish News was told following `a request under the data protection law in Europe... Google can no longer show one or more pages from your site in Google Search results'

DOZENS of newspaper articles - including Irish News coverage - about ex-billionaire Seán Quinn and his family have been `delisted' by search engine Google.

The removal of articles - including court coverage of how his adult children "used the Quinn Group as 'their personal bank' (removing) €1.95 billion" and a lavish wedding with a €100,000 cake - were deleted by the web giant for the family under the EU's 'right to be forgotten' law.

Two Irish News deleted articles report on Seán Quinn's court admission he was a "fool to believe" in Anglo Irish Bank investments that cost his family €3.2bn in just two years, and a hearing where it emerged six payments were made to his business empire between November 2007 - July 2008 "as his secret investment sank and he owed money to brokers".

The newspaper was told following "a request under the data protection law in Europe... Google can no longer show one or more pages from your site in Google Search results".

It will not longer show the articles on "some search queries for names or other personal identifiers" on versions of the search engine results "for countries applying European data protection law".

The Irish Independent first reported the delistings followed a "successful campaign" by the family.

Consumers in the Republic are still paying a two per cent levy on all non-life insurance policies for the industry's Insurance Compensation Fund €1.1 billion bailout of Quinn Insurance.

The Irish Independent revealed details of its `delisted' articles about the Quinn's luxury lifestyle and court battles relating to the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank.

They include his daughter Aoife Quinn telling the Commercial Court of 16 trips to Dubai and Russia during 2011 and 2012 to meet lawyers.

It also erased Mr Justice Peter Kelly's branding as "simply incredible" claims by members of family they could not produce documents concerning alleged contracts of employment with Russian companies for "very large" sums totalling almost €2m.

Also `forgotten' is a court report revealing Mr Quinn was getting "free legal help" and his daughter "withdrew €16,000 in cash from ATMs in one day" from the accounts of a Russian company.

An article about how his daughter Ciara's €100,000 wedding cake - "flown in from New York" - was billed to company is also gone.

Searches will also fail to locate a story the High Court approving €30,000 in monthly living expenses for his adult children who had to "account for every cent spent on groceries, fuel, car parking, care of dogs and sandwiches from Subway".

Google has delisted a profile of Sean Quinn "the quiet billionaire who always puts family first" who "first made his mark in the early 1970s as captain of the Fermanagh Gaelic football team... (providing) a network of GAA contacts throughout the island, which he put to good use in the years to come".

The articles still exist on news organisations website and other webspaces.

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