Belfast Telegraph

Boxer accused of attack on Quinn executive Kevin Lunney delays gardai handover

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

By Alan Erwin

An amateur boxer accused of breaking Co Fermanagh businessman Kevin Lunney's nose has secured a delay in handing himself over to gardai.

Bernard McGovern, 22, is wanted in the Republic of Ireland over claims that he attacked the Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) executive earlier this year.

He is also being sought for alleged involvement in throwing a cup of hot water in the face of Mr Lunney's colleague, Dara O'Reilly, during the same incident in Co Cavan.

McGovern, of Springtown Road in Kinawley, Co Fermanagh, faces extradition proceedings after he was detained on a European Arrest Warrant.

Last week a judge in Belfast granted bail, but ordered him to surrender to Ballyconnell Garda Station within seven days.

However, McGovern's lawyers had the requirement lifted on Wednesday so that a separate assault charge connected to his arrest can be dealt with first in Northern Ireland.

Solicitor Michael Brentnall confirmed: "We successfully applied to have the requirement that my client reports to gardai within a week lifted.

"Matters in this jurisdiction should be disposed of prior to any investigation against him in the Republic of Ireland."

McGovern must now hand in any passports and report to the PSNI twice a week under the terms of his bail. 

He is not accused of any role in the latest events last Tuesday when Mr Lunney was abducted close to his home.

In that incident the executive was beaten, stabbed and dumped by a roadside across the border in Co Cavan.

Mr Lunny is a director in a company made up of elements of the former business empire founded by ex-tycoon Sean Quinn Sr.

Mr Quinn, at one time Ireland's richest man, has repeatedly and emphatically condemned any targeting of those now running QIH.

McGovern is instead facing extradition proceedings in connection with alleged attacks at a service station cafe on February 1.

Counsel for Irish authorities told Belfast Recorder's Court last week that Mr Lunney suffered a broken nose, while Mr O'Reilly had a cup of hot water poured onto his face.

It was disclosed that a direction to prosecute by indictment was issued in May.

McGovern was arrested at his home early last Thursday morning.

According to his legal team he does not consent to extradition but will make voluntary arrangements to speak to gardai once proceedings in the north are completed.

They stressed that the latest attack on the businessman had nothing to do with their client.

In March this year Mr Lunney secured an order at the High Court in Belfast to restrain McGovern from any further alleged harassment.

The injunction proceedings resulted in him being banned from contacting the company director or going within 100 metres of him.

McGovern must continue to abide by those terms as part of his bail conditions.

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