Belfast Telegraph

Quinn staff plead with those behind 'reign of terror' to stop

The silver BMW which was involved in the abduction of Kevin Lunney near Kinawley, Co Fermanagh
The silver BMW which was involved in the abduction of Kevin Lunney near Kinawley, Co Fermanagh
Andrew Madden

By Andrew Madden

The staff of Quinn Industrial Holdings has pleaded with those behind attacks on employees to end their "reign of terror".

Staff issued the plea following Tuesday's brutal attack on QIH's Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Lunney.

Mr Lunney was kidnapped near his Co Fermanagh home and subjected to a brutal two-hour assault, during which he had his fingernails pulled out and industrial-strength bleach poured over his wounds.

He was later found dumped in Co Cavan, where he was found by a member of the public with "life-changing" injuries.

In a statement, staff expressed their "unequivocal support" for Mr Lunney and wished him a full and speedy recovery.

"Our thoughts and prayers are first and foremost with Kevin and his family at this time. He is highly respected and held in high regard in our company for his hard work, commitment and dedication to the staff, the business and the local community," they said.

"This attack was not only an attack on Kevin, but on the entire staff and community."

Kevin Lunney (Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA)
Kevin Lunney (Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA)

Tuesday night's assault is the latest in a string of attacks against staff and QIH property in recent years by people purporting to be supporters of Ireland's former richest man, Sean Quinn.

Mr Quinn ran the business empire of which QIH was a part until he slid into bankruptcy following disastrous stock market bets on Anglo Irish Bank.

The business was later bought over and he was briefly hired as a consultant in 2015, but left the following year. QIH said he left by "mutual agreement", however Mr Quinn said he was sacked.

QIH staff condemned Tuesday night's attack and "all previous physical assaults, arson attacks and intimidation on members of staff".

"The people who are perpetrating these acts do not represent us, or our views, and we plead with them to stop this campaign with immediate effect. The staff of QIH fully support the directors and senior management of the company," they said.

"We ask those in our local communities to come together in solidarity to support Kevin and the Lunney family, and we also plead with them to give whatever support and assistance is required to assist in bringing these perpetrators to justice."

Kevin Lunney horror attack
Kevin Lunney horror attack

During Mr Lunney's two-hour ordeal, he was viciously beaten by a dozen-strong gang of masked and armed men, who used a horsebox as a mobile torture chamber to carry out the assault.

He had his face and neck slashed with a Stanley knife and his right leg was badly broken twice below the knee, requiring surgery.

Sean Quinn has spoken out to condemn the attacks and stated they are not in his family's name.

QIH staff said: "We demand an end to this reign of terror, to all intimidation and attacks on management and their properties.

"We call on local politicians, the PSNI and the Gardai to allocate whatever resources are necessary to bring these perpetrators to justice and to bring an end to these brutal attacks so we can feel safe in our place of work and in our local communities.

"To this end, we present a petition signed by all staff in support of this statement."

On Friday, it emerged that staff who have been threatened have been advised by police to install panic rooms in their homes and told not to stop their cars for any person or any reason on the roads.

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