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Dublin: 0 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019
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Facebook says it removed a 'significant number of posts' about QIH executives in recent years

Gardaí and the PSNI are continuing to probe the attack on Kevin Lunney.

Kevin Lunney
Kevin Lunney
Image: Quinn Industrial Holdings

FACEBOOK HAS SAID it has removed a “significant number of posts” about senior executives of Quinn Industrial Holdings in recent years. 

Their statement comes after a colleague of Kevin Lunney, John McCartin, told RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live last night that posts making claims about the executives had remained on the social media platform for “years”.

Lunney, who’s also the chief operating officer of QIH, was abducted from his car near his home in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh at around 6.40pm last Tuesday.

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

The businessman had his leg broken, some of his fingernails removed and his neck cut with a blade during the ordeal. The Irish News reported this morning that Lunney’s attackers carved the letters QIH into his chest with a knife. 

A number of Quinn executives who had previously been targeted for intimidation have received safety updates and are also receiving protection from both gardaí and the PSNI.

Speaking last night, McCartin said: “I couldn’t say we have always lived in fear because we have just gotten used to it as we go.”

He said posts making claims about some of the executives remained Facebook until Sunday night. 

“I think they appeared on social media, on Facebook’s page, with the words ‘Cromwell’s men are back again’ and reference to the Shankill Butchers and that we had been through a kangaroo court and found guilty,” McCartin said. 

It was very frustrating that they stayed on Facebook until last night. The Shankill butcher reference, all those threats stayed on Facebook for years, right until last night. 

The Shankill Butchers were a notorious Troubles-era Loyalist gang who carried out a string of brutal sectarian killings, beginning in the mid 1970s. 

McCartin said they had “made every effort possible” to have those posts removed, but added that “they remained there until last night”. 

In a statement to TheJournal.ie today, a Facebook spokesperson said there is “absolutely no place on Facebook for threatening behaviour”. 

“Over the past few years, following reports, we have investigated and removed a significant number of posts about senior executives of Quinn Industrial Holdings for violating our community standards,” the spokesperson said. 

They added that Facebook has also “provided relevant information to Quinn Industrial Holdings’ legal team in accordance with court orders”.

“We continue to urge people to report content they believe break our rules so that we can investigate and take swift action,” the spokesperson said.

Road stops 

Meanwhile, the PSNI has said officers will be conducting a road stop at the scene of the kidnapping and in the local area this evening, speaking with people who have have been in the vicinity at the time of the incident. 

Detective Chief Inspector Julie Mullan said the PSNI is continuing to work closely with An Garda Síochána and that the joint investigation is progressing. 

The savages who carried out this attack have no place in our society and we are doing everything in our power to bring them to justice

“This evening, my officers will be out speaking to the public in the local community and we would ask if anyone remembers anything suspicious, no matter how small, to please let us know.  It could be relevant to the investigation,” Mullan said. 

The PSNI is now appealing to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity or saw a silver BMW or a black saloon Audi being driven in the Derrylin, Fermanagh/Swanlinbar, Cavan areas last Tuesday to make contact with them or gardaí. 

“I want to speak to the driver of a silver Ford Focus who was travelling on the Stragowna Road, out of Derrylin, last Tuesday at approximately 6.40pm around the time when the victim was kidnapped. The driver had to slow down when a black Audi pulled out in front of them on to the road,” Mullan added.

“If you are that driver, please come forward and talk to us.”

Anyone with information is being asked to contact the PSNI on 101, quoting reference 1748 of 17/09/19. 

Gardaí can be contacted at Cavan Garda Station on 049 436 8800, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station. 

Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

With reporting by Órla Ryan

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