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Dublin: 0 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019

Kevin Lunney speaks about his torture and near-escape from border gang in first TV interview

Kevin Lunney will detail his traumatic ordeal to the BBC Spotlight NI programme later this evening.

The interview with Kevin Lunney will be broadcast on BBC One tonight.
The interview with Kevin Lunney will be broadcast on BBC One tonight.
Image: BBCSpotlightNI

THE DIRECTOR OF Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) who was abducted, tortured and left by the side of the road in Cavan is to give his first TV interview tonight. 

Kevin Lunney will detail his traumatic ordeal to the BBC Spotlight NI programme and will describe his attempt escape from the gang. 

Kevin Lunney was abducted from his car near his home in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh at around 6.40pm on 23 September.

He was savagely assaulted and tortured before being left at the side of the road at Drumcoughill, Cornafean, Co Cavan sometime before 9pm the same night.

Speaking to Spotlight NI, Lunney says that as he was coming up the laneway towards his home when his car was rammed. He says that he locked his doors but that his windows were smashed and he was dragged out with one man placing a Stanley knife to his neck. 

“I was still resisting a little bit and he said: ‘Get into that, and if you don’t get into that we’re gonna kill you’,” Lunney describes.

He explains that he managed to unlock the boot and begin an escape before being pulled back.

I went to jump, but I hadn’t realised that one of the guys inside the car had taken the seat down, so he had come into the boot sort of on his belly and had caught my right foot.

The broadcast of the programme comes a number of hours after the Garda Commissioner met with directors of QIH earlier today to discuss ongoing investigations relating to the threats against them.

Despite patrols and police and garda activity on both sides of the border, fresh threats have been made against QIH directors.

In the Dáil this afternoon, Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin criticised the government’s approach to policing in the border area, saying that “the rule of law is gone”.

“The State is not in control and has not been in control for some time. Criminality reigns supreme. We need to fundamentally alter what we have been doing on that,” Martin said, suggesting that a new cross-border agency is needed. 

That does mean a Criminal Assets Bureau-like joint agency, multidisciplinary between the PSNI, An Garda Síochána and others. A taskforce will not cut it. It needs statutory underpinning. It would send a message once and for all to these warlords that enough is enough, that we are not taking it any more.

In response, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that he is unsure if a new cross-border agency is the correct approach added that it should not be ruled out.

“We have put additional resources into the border area, with over 100 additional gardaí in the past two years, extra garda staff, a fully armed service unit for the Cavan area and the Garda Commissioner has told me that the level of resourcing will continue,” Varadkar said.

“On foot of our discussion, he will discuss with the PSNI how to best work together on a joint investigation.  I am not sure if a statutory agency is the best way for them to do so, as something like that takes a long time to establish, but I would not rule it out.”

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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