Ireland: Stabbed, tortured and doused in bleach: Attack the latest in long line of chilling incidents to hit Quinn firm - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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IrelandStabbed, tortured and doused in bleach: Attack the latest in long line of chilling incidents to hit Quinn firm

12:06  19 september  2019
12:06  19 september  2019 Source:   independent.ie

'Horrific attack' - Top executive of Quinn Industrial Holdings suffers serious injuries after being abducted and assaulted

'Horrific attack' - Top executive of Quinn Industrial Holdings suffers serious injuries after being abducted and assaulted 'Horrific attack' - Top executive of Quinn Industrial Holdings suffers serious injuries after being abducted and assaulted

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The 2019 Yuen Long attack was a mob attack that occurred on 21 July 2019, in Yuen Long , Hong Kong. A mob of over 100 armed men dressed in white indiscriminately attacked civilians on the

Stabbed, tortured and doused in bleach: Attack the latest in long line of chilling incidents to hit Quinn firm © INM Terrifying: Members of the PSNI near a lane way leading to the home of Kevin Lunney, in Kinawley, Co Fermanagh, yesterday. Photo: Damien Eagers

The content of the anonymous letter addressed to five representatives of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) was chilling.

They were told they were being written to because they had facilitated the sale of manufacturing businesses once controlled by former billionaire Seán Quinn and were now assisting in the disposal of a former Quinn wind farm.

"We are putting you on notice that if the sale is not stopped immediately we will be implementing a permanent solution for at least one of the above," said the letter, sent last May.

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One of the five people it was addressed to was Kevin Lunney. It is not known who was behind the threatening note, but read today it looks like a disturbing portent of what was to come.

The father of six was abducted from his home at Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, on Tuesday night, tortured and left with a broken leg on the side of the road.

At one time, Mr Lunney was the general manager at Quinn Insurance, just one arm of Sean Quinn's sprawling business empire.

Quinn Group was a multi-billion-euro business that included cement, glass, plastics, hotel and property interests, all controlled from 'Quinn Country', the borderlands of Cavan and Fermanagh.

In the aftermath of the 2008 economic crash, Mr Quinn lost control of the group's businesses and ended up bankrupt.

Kevin Lunney abduction: Sean Quinn tells local radio station his family is afraid they'll be blamed

Kevin Lunney abduction: Sean Quinn tells local radio station his family is afraid they'll be blamed Kevin Lunney was abducted from his home in Co Fermanagh on Tuesday evening. The company director was taken to another location and attacked before being dumped on the side of a road in Cavan with what are being described as “life-changing” injuries a number of hours later. Speaking to local radio station Northern Sound this morning, Quinn hit out at those responsible for the attack. “My reaction would be the same as anybody else: it would be a sense of outrage. It would appear to me to be a fairly barbaric attack,” he said.

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Inside the Kunming railway station in Kunming, Yunnan, China at around 21:20 on 1 March 2014, a group of knife-wielding terrorists attacked passengers at the city's railway station.

Stabbed, tortured and doused in bleach: Attack the latest in long line of chilling incidents to hit Quinn firm Kevin Lunney

His downfall was primarily due to disastrous stock market bets he placed on Anglo Irish Bank.

The insurance firm where Mr Lunney worked collapsed into administration in 2010 after massive holes were found in its accounts.

Now Mr Lunney is one of a number of former senior employees of Seán Quinn on the management team of QIH, the company that rose from the ashes of the fallen business empire.

It was formed in 2014 by local businessmen John McCartin, John Bosco Hogan and Ernie Fisher, with the backing of US hedge funds, to acquire the former Quinn Group's building and packaging divisions. Today, it provides employment for 830 people. Mr Lunney is QIH's operations director.

Although Mr Quinn was brought in as a consultant by the new company in 2015, he left the role after a dispute the following year.

He has been quick to criticise the running of the business and at one point claimed he had been "stabbed in the back".

Boxer faces being quizzed over separate attack on businessman

  Boxer faces being quizzed over separate attack on businessman An amateur boxer has been arrested on suspicion of breaking the nose of a businessman in February who in a separate attack on Tuesday was kidnapped and tortured. PSNI detectives arrested Bernard McGovern (22) at his home on Thursday morning just a day after company director Kevin Lunney (50) suffered "life-changing" injuries in a savage incident.

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Speaking to hundreds of supporters in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, in August last year, Mr Quinn explained he had been "trying all along" to buy back the company, but had been prevented from purchasing shares due to a clause inserted in a management implementation plan.

Stabbed, tortured and doused in bleach: Attack the latest in long line of chilling incidents to hit Quinn firm © INM Members of the PSNI near a lane way leading to the home of Kevin Lunney in Kilnawley, Co Fermanagh, yesterday. Photo: Damien Eagers

The last few years have seen an extraordinary campaign of intimidation against members of the QIH management team, being waged by people purporting to be supporters of Mr Quinn. This has involved assaults, arson attacks, threatening messages and online harassment on social media pages dedicated to Seán Quinn.

There have been dozens of incidents, but the abduction and beating of Mr Lunney represents a considerable escalation.

Mr Quinn has previously condemned attacks and said those responsible were not acting in his name. There is no suggestion he has any link to the incidents.

A curious aspect of the ongoing campaign of intimidation has been the inability of either An Garda Síochána or the PSNI to bring anyone to justice.

Kevin Lunney attack: Gardaí carrying out fresh searches as they also examine shop CCTV

  Kevin Lunney attack: Gardaí carrying out fresh searches as they also examine shop CCTV Kevin Lunney attack: Gardaí carrying out fresh searches as they also examine shop CCTVThe latest search, which got under way shortly before midday yesterday, focused on outhouses and sheds, several miles from the Cavan-Longford border.

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In a statement yesterday, QIH chairman Adrian Barden said it was "inexplicable" that not a single arrest had been made north or south of the Border despite dozens of incidents.

Quizzed about the failure by gardaí to get to grips with the situation, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris told the Oireachtas Justice Committee: "They are pretty difficult investigations.

"The individuals who have engaged in this go out of their way to ensure they are not easy to catch, through destruction of evidence and concealment of identities."

Mr Harris pledged that the perpetrators would be vigorously pursued as part of a joint Garda/PSNI operation and said he was conscious there was an "ongoing threat" to the directors of QIH.

Tuesday night was not the first time Mr Lunney has been injured.

Last February, the High Court in Belfast issued a restraining order against amateur boxer Bernard McGovern, of Springtown in Kinawley, Co Fermanagh.

The court heard allegations Mr McGovern broke Mr Lunney's nose during an attack in a service station café in Co Cavan.

A judge was told Mr Lunney was knocked to the ground and punched repeatedly in an attack linked to a campaign aimed at vilifying and intimidating directors of QIH.

The court was told individuals unhappy that Mr Quinn was no longer in charge of the company were behind the campaign against current executives.

Gardai believe they have found location where Kevin Lunney was savagely beaten and tortured

  Gardai believe they have found location where Kevin Lunney was savagely beaten and tortured Gardai believe they have found location where Kevin Lunney was savagely beaten and torturedThe Quinn Industrial Holdings executive was abducted and then dumped on the road after the attack, found by residents on the side of the road in Drumcoghill, Cornafean in Cavan around 9pm on Tuesday.

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Barrister Peter Girvan, for Mr Lunney, told the court there had been several serious criminal acts, including arson, industrial sabotage and damage to expensive plant equipment.

'Wanted' posters were put up branding the directors as "traitors" and "thieves".

Mr McGovern was not being accused of involvement in any of those other incidents. However, it was claimed he posted on a Seán Quinn Community Facebook page to describe Mr Lunney as a "skip rat".

QIL management team members Liam McCaffrey and Dara O'Reilly were also recipients of the "permanent solution" letter last May.

Mr McCaffrey was chief executive of Quinn Group and now holds the same position at QIH, while Mr O'Reilly, a former Quinn Group finance director, is QIH's chief finance officer.

In March of this year, the High Court in Dublin was told they were "very reluctant" witnesses in a civil action following "threats and actions of violence towards them".

Their barrister Ross Gorman said Mr O'Reilly's car had been burnt out before Christmas and boiling water was thrown in his face in February.

Ultimately, they did not have to give evidence as the case, in which Mr Quinn's children were disputing liability for loans from Anglo, was settled.

It is not just directors and company property that have been targeted. Workers at a company operating wind farms formerly owned by Quinn Group were warned to stay away or "face the bullet" in March 2016.

The chilling handwritten note was left near their premises. It ended with the words "final warning" and was accompanied by three bullets.

Kidnapped Irish businessman Kevin Lunney was tortured inside a 'horse box'

  Kidnapped Irish businessman Kevin Lunney was tortured inside a 'horse box' His fingernails were brutally cut away as his abductors attempted to destroy DNA evidence . © Quinn Industrial Holdings Kevin Lunney The sealed-off site at Ballinagh, Co Cavan, where garda operations continue, is 23 miles from Kinawley, Co Fermanagh, where Mr Lunney was rammed off the road as he returned home from work last Tuesday night. All roads in and out of the crime scene were also cordoned off. The area is just three miles from the parish of Cornafean where Mr Lunney was finally dumped by the gang.

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An insider at QIH said the message sent out by the spate of attacks was clear.

"Whoever is responsible wants the management team to relinquish its involvement to facilitate the return of Seán Quinn," the insider said.

"It is a very tense situation. You have a management team who have a duty to the area and the staff and the business. It is a major economic driver and thousands of families' incomes depend on the business."

To date, none of the QIL executives has shown any sign they will walk away, but the severity of the attack on Mr Lunney has taken the campaign against them to another level.

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