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Dublin: 6°C Wednesday 29 September 2021

'I don't think people are surprised': QIH director condemns 'barbaric' attack on colleague Lunney

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

A COLLEAGUE OF Kevin Lunney has said he doesn’t think people were surprised by the “barbaric” attack on the Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) director.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live last night, John McCartin said: “We should be able to go about our business without being attacked.” 

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 have received safety updates and are also receiving protection from both gardaí and the PSNI.

“While we are all shocked by this, I don’t think people are surprised,” McCartin said last night. 

He said he had a “weight of responsibility” to his family but also a responsibility and a duty of care to the “wider economy and to the project they set about when they formed [the parent group of QIH]“. 

“It’s difficult to comprehend why people would want to do this,” he said. “It’s difficult to comprehend how people can countenance it.

I couldn’t say we have always lived in fear because we have just gotten used to it as we go.

Officers investigating the attack believe he was brought to a horsebox in the townland of Drombade, near Ballinagh in Cavan – around thirty minutes away from Lunney’s home. Gardaí said late last evening that they had completed their search of the area.

It is thought another attack on a Quinn executive is “very unlikely”. Sources told TheJournal.ie that this is due to the heightened media attention on the Lunney attack in recent days. 

Initial investigations have yielded results for gardaí. It is now believed that a gang led by a former IRA member with a string of convictions was behind the planning of the attack. 

Gardaí believe that over ten people may have been involved in the incident. Searches are being carried out in Cavan, Leitrim and Fermanagh by the PSNI and gardaí.

Another known criminal is also on the garda list of persons of interest, after he was captured on CCTV buying bleach a day before the attack.  

With reporting from Garreth MacNamee

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Sean Murray

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