Belfast Telegraph

Family endured ‘week from hell’ after Quinn executive abducted and attacked

Kevin Lunney sustained ‘life-changing’ injuries after being left beaten on the side of the road.

Kevin Lunney was seriously assaulted before being dumped at the side of the road (Quinn Industrial Holdings)
Kevin Lunney was seriously assaulted before being dumped at the side of the road (Quinn Industrial Holdings)

By Aine McMahon, PA

The family of Kevin Lunney have spoken of their “week from hell” after he was abducted and kidnapped from his home and left on a roadside.

Staff at Quinn Industrial Holdings called for “an end to this reign of terror” following the “horrendous premeditated attack” on their colleague and called on those responsible to stop their campaign of intimidation.

Mr Lunney, the chief operating officer at Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) sustained “life-changing” injuries in what the PSNI described as a “most severe and savage” attack and abduction.

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Workers from Quinn Industrial Holdings gathered in solidarity (Brian Lawless/PA)

The attack is the latest in a five-year campaign of violence and intimidation directed at the new management that has been running Quinn Industrial Holdings since the fall of Sean Quinn who was once Ireland’s richest man.

The sun shone on around 800 workers at QIH and local people who turned out for a solidarity walk in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, in support of Mr Lunney and his family.

At around 3pm staff gathered at the Quinn Quarry Office in Derrylin to march to Quinn Building Products’ head office up the road.

Two family members of Mr Lunney spoke of their anguish and shock at what had happened to the father-of-six.

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Workers and people from the community attended (Brian Lawless/PA)

Kevin Lunney’s sister-in-law Margaret Lunney said she was comforted by the number of people in the community who turned out in support of him.

“Words could not describe what has happened, we are all very upset. He is the kindest, nicest fella you could ever meet. He is loyal to everybody and such a gentleman. He’s head of the family and the one who brings us altogether,” she said.

Mr Lunney is still receiving treatment for his injuries in hospital in Drogheda and had a procedure last night to have a metal pin placed in his leg after it was broken by his attackers.

“At least he had the operation because he was in very bad pain with his leg as well as everything else. He is still in shock so he’s going through the motions and that is just it. It is going to be a difficult road for him and him and his family,” she said.

“We’re very upset. All week at work I couldn’t concentrate.. it has been a week from hell for the family,” she said.

His other sister-in-law Geraldine Lunney expressed her shock at the barbarity of the attack: “How anyone could do something like that to someone – especially someone like Kevin. It is beyond belief. He is the kindest person you could ever meet.”

Amongst those in attendance was DUP leader Arlene Foster who said “Kevin is a Fermanagh man who is very much rooted in his community”.

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Tony Lunney, brother of Kevin Lunney, with DUP leader Arlene Foster (Brian Lawless/PA)

She said people living on both sides of the border in Cavan and Fermanagh, do not want to see a return to the violence of the 70s and 80s.

“We do not want to see fear take a grip of this community. That is why today is so important,” said Mrs Foster.

“I hope that those who are responsible for carrying out this attack see all of the ordinary decent folk standing here today in solidarity with the directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings.

“Everyone here knows Kevin is committed to keeping jobs here in Fermanagh. He is a Fermanagh man and very much rooted in this community.”

Rosemary Flanagan, an SDLP representative from Enniskillen, said she attended to protest against the violence and said the continued attacks may affect the economic prosperity in the area.

“It also has economic implications. Will investors want to invest in this area after this? It has been a thriving, prosperous area and we want it to remain that way,” said Ms Flanagan.

Local business owner Padraig Donohoe said the community “are disgusted” by what had happened to Mr Lunney

He said: “This is taking us back to the bad times where there was military-style operations. That man was tortured and it is only by the grace of God that we are not attending a funeral today.

“Local people are awe stricken at what has happened to him. They can’t believe this has gone so far. In the past, we had cars set alight, lorries driven through doors and all sorts of sabotage but this is really a step too far. It needs to stop.”

PA

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