Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Lunney assault accused 'must surrender to gardai' in a week

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 must surrender to gardai within a week, a judge has ordered.

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, appeared before Belfast Recorders' Court following his detention on a European Arrest Warrant.

Adjourning extradition proceedings, Judge David McFarland granted bail after being told McGovern will agree to be interviewed by Gardai investigating the attack.

The Recorder directed that he must attend Ballyconnell Garda Station within seven days.

McGovern is not accused of any role in the latest events on 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.

He 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 publicly 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 the hearing: "The allegation before the court in the Republic of Ireland is that the requested person assaulted, causing harm, to both these individuals.

"Mr Lunney suffered a broken nose, and Mr O'Reilly had a cup of hot water poured onto his face."

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

McGovern was arrested at his home early on Thursday morning.

Stephen Toal, defending, said his client does not consent to extradition but will make voluntary arrangements to speak to gardai.

Referring to the latest attack on the businessman, Mr Toal stressed: "Whatever happened to Mr Lunney in the recent past has nothing to do with this particular requested person."

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.

Judge McFarland reiterated that McGovern must abide by those terms as part of his bail conditions.

He also directed that a relative is to lodge a £5,000 cash surety.

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