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Kevin Lunney's brother: 'If he hadn't have been found, he definitely wouldn't have survived'

Tony Lunney described in detail the moment he got a call to say Kevin’s car was on fire

Kevin Lunney
Kevin Lunney
Image: QIH

THE BROTHER OF Quinn Industrial Holdings director, Kevin Lunney, described how the abducted executive would have died had he not been found on a rural road by a passerby last month.

Tony Lunney described in detail the moment he got a call to say Kevin’s car was on fire and how initial relief when he realised his brother wasn’t in the vehicle turned to terror when he found out Kevin was missing.   

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

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. 

Speaking to Miriam O’Callaghan on tonight’s RTÉ Prime Time, Tony Lunney said his brother would have died had he not been spotted on an isolated road in Cavan. 

He said: “If he hadn’t have been found, he definitely wouldn’t have survived.”

Tony recounted how he had received a call from a friend shortly after his brother’s abduction. 

He explained: “Tony there is something wrong down at Kevin’s, he says. The jeep is half way up the lane on fire, he says, and I can’t get through to his mobile.”

“I ran up the lane and all I could see was Kevin’s vehicle… I didn’t know… It was just a complete ball of flames. You couldn’t see anything of any resemblance of anything, it was just unbelievable the fire ball it was in. And then the fire brigade came and I went back down and said ‘is there anyone in the vehicle?’ and he confirmed there was no one in it.”

In tonight’s interview on RTÉ Prime Time, Tony recalls to Miriam the relief he felt when Kevin wasn’t in the car, followed by the terror he felt when he realised they didn’t know where Kevin was. 

“He dragged himself 100, 150 meters down to the cross roads and kind of up towards the light of the house. That’s where the lad on the tractor happened to see him just putting the hand up, he wasn’t fit to stand, and that’s what saved him. If he hadn’t have been found he definitely wouldn’t have survived.”

Tony Lunney explains in the interview how for years there had been low level intimidation against all the senior executives at QIH, including himself and his family. He added that his family have faced harassment, criminal damage, including arson, industrial sabotage, and damage to expensive equipment, before the campaign escalated to include serious violence, including personal assaults.

Also speaking with Miriam is Liam McCaffrey who is the CEO of QIH. He said things would be differentt had the abducted executives been from a multinational company such as Intel.

He said: “Through time we need to assess and balance the risks. We cannot continue to work here in the longer term if our lives are at stake, it’s a simple as that, we can’t do that to the family… If what has been happening to the Quinn executives here had been happening to somebody from Facebook or from Google or from Intel there would have been national outcry about it.

“We did lobby about it, I mean we were quite clear after the attack particularly on Tony’s daughter’s car last year I made a comment that said ‘Look, if something isn’t done then lives will be lost here’.”

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.

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