Belfast Telegraph

Quinn directors warned to resign or face ‘permanent solution’ in new death threat

Kevin Lunney who was abducted
Kevin Lunney who was abducted

By Maeve Sheehan

The directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings have received a second death threat purporting to be a “last warning” to resign or face a “permanent solution”.

The threatening letter was issued on Monday to the Irish News and conveyed to the directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) by police late last night.

The anonymous authors claim responsibility for the abduction and savage assault last month on Kevin Lunney, in a chilling taunt: “If we wanted, we could have killed him very easily.”

Mr Lunney was savagely beaten over two hours, had his leg broken, his face and chest slashed and was dumped on a Cavan roadside.

He was warned he and other directors would be shot if they didn’t resign.

The new threatening letter tells the directors “you haven’t learned your lesson after what happened to Kevin”.

It claims the former billionaire Sean Quinn, who lost control of his companies in 2011, was “stabbed in the back”.  

It threatens Cavan County Council staff, saying council workers or contractors who remove posters will be “targeted”. Illegal signs vilifying directors have been erected as part of a campaign of violence and intimidation against the new management of the company.

The Sunday Independent revealed at the weekend that the local authority has refused to take them down because it fears for the safety of its staff.

Gardaí are treating the missive as a death threat to the five directors of QIH. They were informed by police forces on both sides of the border of the new threat and gardaí and the PSNI are tightening up security around their homes.

It says: “This is your last warning to resign to the Directors of QIH, obviously you haven’t learned your lesson after what happened to Kevin. If we wanted we could have killed him very easily. We want to put on record anybody that removes signs whether that be council employees or outside contractors will be targeted. All of this will be brought to a conclusion very shortly. We have learned that there was repeated attempts made by Sean Quinn to talk to Senior Directors to bring about a solution and conclusion but the directors refuse to reply.

“Directors of QIH were given a mandate to hold the company in safe hands for the Quinn family until a position was put in place to buy it back. The local Community won’t stand by any longer and see it continue in its current projectory [sic]. The Quinn Family that employed hundreds of people were stabbed in the back we have the capability and manpower to see this through until the end and achieve a permanent solution.”

The five directors are Kevin Lunney, chief operations officer; his brother, Tony Lunney, production director; Liam McCaffrey, chief executive; Dara O’Reilly, chief finance officer; and John McCartin, non-executive director.

Police on both sides of the border are investigating the threats as part of an escalating violent and intimidatory campaign directed at ousting current management from the companies once owned by Sean Quinn.

A forensic and technical examination to determine the letter’s provenance is underway. 

Sources believe the style, the poor punctuation and grammatical mistakes resemble an earlier anonymous letter sent to the company last May.

This letter also warned the directors to “resign” and warned that there would be a “permanent solution” if they did not.

Sean Quinn developed a global empire from his companies in Ballyconnell and Derrylin but lost control in 2011, as a result of the group’s €2bn debts to the former Anglo-Irish Bank. A campaign of arson attacks and criminal damage has been waged against successive owners and management of the companies ever since.

Mr Quinn has repeatedly condemned these attacks, saying they were not carried out in his name, and he most recently condemned the attack on Kevin Lunney as “barbaric”.

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