Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Lunney: I just thought of my family, says Quinn executive on kidnap horror

Kevin Lunney on BBC Spotlight last night
Kevin Lunney on BBC Spotlight last night
Kevin Lunney on BBC Spotlight last night
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

Fermanagh businessman Kevin Lunney believed he was going to die when he was dumped on a roadside over the border in Co Cavan after being abducted and tortured.

The father-of-six was left with life-changing injuries after being bundled into the boot of a car outside his Derrylin home on September 17 and subjected to several hours of brutal attack.

The attack on Mr Lunney followed a sustained campaign of attacks on Quinn Industrial Holdings management by elements who wish to see former owner Sean Quinn return to the company.

Speaking publicly for the first time on BBC Spotlight last night, Mr Lunney (50) reflected on the harrowing events of seven weeks ago.

Sporting a beard to cover slash injuries to his face and neck, he recalled coming home from work as normal that fateful Tuesday evening and saw a white car up ahead which began reversing towards his SUV at high speed.

"I could see two guys jumping out, the next thing was the two side windows came in. They dragged me out and then there was a third person with a Stanley knife and I could feel it up to my neck.

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"Basically he was saying: 'Get into that'. I didn't know what he meant. I was still resisting a little bit and he said: 'If you don't get into that we are going to kill you'."

Mr Lunney was forced into the boot of a black Audi but tried to escape by opening the boot from inside. One of the men caught him by the foot and pulled him back in as he tried to jump out.

The gang took Mr Lunney to a farmyard where they poured industrial bleach over him and his wounds in an apparent effort to destroy any of their own DNA.

"It was excruciating, the pain of the bleach - I think I was screaming. There was a squirt of bleach in my face, into my eyes... a lot of fumes, I started to cough and almost passed out," he said.

At this point he was told to resign from QIH, as well as the other directors.

"I said: 'I'll tell them to resign'. They said: 'We have been watching you, we have seen you with your little daughter with the GAA top and you are going to do what we say. If you don't we'll be back, for you and all the family and everybody's family'."

Mr Lunney also had one of his legs broken in two places below the knee and the letters QIH carved into his chest.

He became tearful as he recalled praying and thinking about whether he would see his wife Bronagh or children again.

Mr Lunney was dumped on the side of a road and warned not to speak to the Garda.

After the van drove off he dragged himself along the road to a junction, trying to get help.

"I was there for a while and there were no cars so I was really worried. I prayed a lot then, I was conscious I was starting to shiver, I was in agony."

Mr Lunney started to drag himself up the road towards a house when he heard a tractor coming and the farmer raised the alarm.

"I felt that I was going to die on the road. I felt I was trying to get to the light in the house, a lot of things went through my mind and I almost gave up.

"I gave up a few times and came back again, thought about the kids, Bronagh and surviving."

Mr Quinn has repeatedly denied any involvement in the threats and repeatedly condemned the ongoing intimidation and act of violence against Mr Lunney.

QIH executives met Garda Commissioner Drew Harris in the wake of the attack on Mr Lunney.

In a statement the firm said while "progress is being made" in the investigation into their colleague's abduction, its directors and their families "continue to live in fear".

A spokesperson said: "The community and staff of QIH need to see positive action now to give them the confidence to speak out against those perpetrating this campaign of intimidation.

"The directors of QIH, the staff and the community are putting their trust in the police services and authorities on this island but they need to see the perpetrators, and more importantly the paymaster, brought to justice in the short-term."

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