Belfast Telegraph

Sinister attack of vandalism on brother of QIH kidnap victim Kevin Lunney

Arlene Foster and Tony Lunney
Arlene Foster and Tony Lunney

By Maeve Sheehan

A brother of Kevin Lunney has been targeted by vandals just weeks after the Quinn company director was abducted and savagely assaulted.

Fifteen bales of silage owned by Tony Lunney, a member of Quinn Industrial Holdings management team, and his brother, were slashed last Wednesday week.

The act of vandalism took place on land owned by the Lunneys across the Border from Cavan and has caused damage worth hundreds of euros.

Quinn directors fear the attacks mark a resumption of the eight-year campaign of intimidation on the companies, once owned by Sean Quinn in Ballyconnell and across the Border in Derrylin.

A suspect linked to previous attacks on Quinn company properties was seen in the area when the bales of silage were damaged.

The Lunney family reported the damage of the silage bails to the PSNI within a day of the attack. However, An Garda Siochana said the force was not aware of the attack, even though police forces on both sides of the Border have said they are working together to investigate the attacks.

The attack occurred on Wednesday, October 2, at a time when security on the Quinn company directors and their families is supposed to be at an all-time high.

Kevin Lunney had been abducted just two weeks earlier and subjected to a paramilitary-style punishment beating by a gang of hired criminals. Mr Lunney is recovering from "life-changing" injuries, in which his face and chest were slashed. His leg was broken in two places, beaten, had fingernails removed with a Stanley knife, before being doused in bleach.

John McCartin, a director of QIH, said he feared that the knife attack on the silage bales marked a resumption of violence against the Quinn companies, sending a sinister message that the people behind the protracted terror campaign have not gone away.

A local priest, Fr Oliver O'Reilly, denounced the person behind the attack on Kevin Lunney as a godfather-type figure, a paymaster or paymasters so consumed with hatred that they have lost their moral compass.

Days after the attack, the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris dispatched armed patrols to the Cavan border. He insisted gardai had not "failed" the Quinn company directors and staff by failing to apprehend those behind the campaign of intimidation.

However Liam Caffrey, the chief executive of Quinn Industrial Holdings, told of his "terrible fear" that the police investigation would not succeed and that the company would be left "on its own". Sean Quinn, who lost control of the Quinn companies in 2011, has condemned the attack on Kevin Lunney as barbaric.

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