Belfast Telegraph

Quinn COO Kevin Lunney left with 'life-changing' injuries after abduction

PSNI at the scene of last nights abduction near Kinawley, Co.Fermanagh. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th September 2019
PSNI at the scene of last nights abduction near Kinawley, Co.Fermanagh. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th September 2019

A senior PSNI officer has said that Kevin Lunney has been left with life changing injuries after being abducted and brutally assaulted.

The Chief Operating Officer at Quinn Industrial Holdings was travelling home from work to Kinawley at around 6.40pm on Tuesday evening when he was targeted.

He was found by members of the public at 9pm on the side of the road at Drumcoughill, Cornafean, Co Cavan.

Members of the PSNI and Gardai are jointly investigating the attack.

A crossroads at Drumcoughill, Cornafean, Co Cavan, where Mr Kevin Lunney, an executive of Quinn Industrial holdings was found after he was abducted at his home. Credit: Damien Eagers / INM
A crossroads at Drumcoughill, Cornafean, Co Cavan, where Mr Kevin Lunney, an executive of Quinn Industrial holdings was found after he was abducted at his home. Credit: Damien Eagers / INM

At a press conference in Enniskillen, PSNI Superintendent Clive Beatty explained how the attack on Mr Lunney unfolded.

He said that Mr Lunney was arriving home when his vehicle was rammed by another vehicle and disabled.

"Mr Lunney locked himself in the vehicle but four masked men appeared, smashed the windows of Mr Lunney's vehicles, forcibly removed him from the vehicle and bundled him into the boot of a black Audi saloon and drove him away from his home," he said.

"They drove for a period of time to an unknown location whereupon he was removed from the vehicle and savagely beaten about the body.

"He sustained severe and brutal injuries to his legs, torso and face. After this savage attack he was then bundled into another vehicle and driven for another short period of time and then he was dumped on the side of the road just outside Cavan to fend for himself with his severe injuries."

The officer said a passer-by found Mr Lunney and contacted the emergency services.

Kevin Lunney was abducted and seriously assaulted before being dumped at the side of the road in Co Cavan (Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA)
Kevin Lunney was abducted and seriously assaulted before being dumped at the side of the road in Co Cavan (Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA)

Mr Beatty said the incident was the "most severe and savage" of the recent series of attacks on the company and its executives.

"We are at a very early stage of our investigation and we are keeping an open mind at this time but this has been an ongoing situation in that area for some time," he said.

"Police are well aware of the complexities and difficulties that this has had however we are using all our force and might to bring to justice those people who are committing offences in that area and against this company."

The superintendent was challenged as to why the police had yet to make one arrest in relation to the attacks in recent years.

"There are a number of lines of enquiry still ongoing about crimes that have been committed over the last two years," said the officer.

"Those are still very much live investigations and I can't discuss any further on our actions on that.

Temporary Superintendent Clive Beatty, who is the PSNI District Commander for Fermanagh and Omagh District, at a press conference in Enniskillen Police station. Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Temporary Superintendent Clive Beatty, who is the PSNI District Commander for Fermanagh and Omagh District, at a press conference in Enniskillen Police station. Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

"This is the most severe and savage attack that there has been to date at this particular company or area and we are keeping an open mind as to who or what is behind this."

Mr Beatty said there had been an additional police presence around the company's premises over the last two days, as a board of directors conference was being held.

He said Mr Lunney had been left with "life changing" injuries.

"We have briefly spoken to Mr Lunney, he was able to tell us some information but his injuries are severe and savage," said the officer.

"Although not life threatening, they will be definitely life changing and he is assisting us with the enquiry as much as he can."

Mr Lunney started working for Quinn in 1995 in the insurance division and rose through the ranks of the company.

There have been a number of attacks on members of Quinn staff and their property after a split between former company owner Sean Quinn and new owners in 2016.

The Quinn Group manufacturing company was broken up after Sean Quinn fell into bankruptcy after investing in the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Quinn family said: "We are absolutely horrified to hear of the terrible ordeal which Kevin Lunney has endured, and our thoughts are with Kevin and his family.

"We have had no involvement in the Quinn Group for several years now and are deeply frustrated and angered that our former ownership of those businesses is being associated in any way to such abhorrent acts.

"The Quinn family has repeatedly condemned these types of attacks in the strongest possible terms and we will always do so.

"The people that are carrying out these despicable acts are not doing so for our benefit in any shape or form and we are totally against this type of activity."

 

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph