Belfast Telegraph

Attack 'came out of nowhere' - police defend handling of Quinn director Kevin Lunney case

Chief Constable of the PSNI Simon Byrne (left) and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris speak to the media during the Cross-border conference on organised crime at the Slieve Russell Hotel, Co. Cavan. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Chief Constable of the PSNI Simon Byrne (left) and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris speak to the media during the Cross-border conference on organised crime at the Slieve Russell Hotel, Co. Cavan. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The PSNI's Chief Constable and the Garda Commissioner have said they are doing all they can to bring those responsible for the abduction of Quinn director Kevin Lunney to justice.

The BBC has reported that the pair denied they failed Mr Lunney's family after he was subjected to a horrific attack after being taken from his home in Derrylin last week.

Mr Lunney, who was worked at Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) for over 20 years, was tortured for two-and-a-half hours before being dumped at the side of a road in Co Cavan.

On Wednesday Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin called for a cross-border body to be set up to investigate such crimes in the border region following the attack on Mr Lunney.

Speaking at a cross-border crime conference in Co Cavan PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said he was being regularly briefed regarding the attack on Mr Lunney.

Mr Byrne denied that police could have done more despite a long-running campaign against QIH staff, including assaults and attacks on their homes and property.

He said it was "too early to rush to the hindsight test" and that "this particular escalation in violence came out of nowhere".

Chief Constable Byrne also noted that the PSNI had been given additional finance to hire more police officers ahead of Brexit.

"We're putting 190 extra officers into border areas to raise levels of visibility and reassurance," he said.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said that his force are sharing information and evidence with their PSNI counterparts and that the investigation into the attack on Mr Lunney was "not short of resources".

Kevin Lunney (Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA)
Kevin Lunney (Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA)

"It is supported by national units and we're following up lines of inquiry. From Monday, an armed response unit will be based in Cavan," the former PSNI Deputy Chief Constable said.

"There's been a lot of speculation and I don't want to add to that speculation about who these individuals are, other than to say they are vicious individuals, they had some degree of organisation but I don't want to, in effect, 'big them up'.

"We need the public support in terms of bringing them to justice and I want to reassure the public of our ongoing determination to do that."

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