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Crane hire firm quits after bullets letter at former Quinn site in Northern Ireland

By Cate McCurry

Published 21/04/2016

Tycoon: Sean Quinn
Tycoon: Sean Quinn

A crane hire company from the Republic of Ireland working at a wind farm in Co Fermanagh has pulled out, weeks after staff at an energy firm based at the same site were threatened in a letter containing bullets.

East Cork Crane Hire had been operating as a contractor at the Slieve Rushen wind farm on the border between Fermanagh and Cavan.

The wind farm, which had belonged to the business empire of fallen tycoon Sean Quinn, is owned by investment fund Platina Partners. A handwritten letter was sent to staff at energy firm Vestas last month warning them to "stay away" from the wind farm or "face the bullet".

The letter, which contained three bullets, said it was a "final warning".

Another worker at the wind farm was also threatened by a man with a rifle as attempts were made to block access.

Days before that the sabotage of a lorry at one of the firm's factories at Ballyconnell Road in Derrylin resulted in £12,000 worth of damage.

Aidan Kelleher from East Cork Crane Hire said he was not prepared to put his workers in danger.

It is the second company to pull out of the area in as many years after a construction firm backed out of plans to buy a former Quinn Group business following a number of death threats and attacks on its property.

And on Tuesday a placard was erected in Derrylin threatening executives who now run one part of the former Quinn Group.

And signs appeared at roadsides along the Fermanagh border threatening 'Remove the UDA and UVF off our mountain or face the gun'.

It's the second death threat to be aimed at Quinn Industrial Holdings Limited (QIHL) chief Liam McCaffrey within the past month.

He has already been told by the PSNI to review his personal safety.

Mr McCaffrey's name appears on the signs in Ballyconnell and Derrylin alongside other former Quinn Group executives Kevin Lunney, Tony Lunney and Dara O'Reilly.

The PSNI and An Garda Siochana launched a cross-border investigation into the threat made against Mr McCaffrey, who was the chief executive of Quinn Group.

The PSNI's Detective Inspector Brian Foster said: "Police are investigating this deplorable act of intimation against members of the local business community.

"We would appeal to anyone who observed this sign being erected (to come forward).

"We would also like to hear from anyone who noticed any suspicious vehicles or activity in the area.

"We continue to work with An Garda Siochana and will investigate any incidents of criminality.

"We understand the concerns of the local community and are working with stakeholders to address these."

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