Belfast Telegraph

US investors in Quinn firm 'won't bow to intimidation'

No capitulation: John McCartin
No capitulation: John McCartin

By Jenna Gardiner

A director of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) has told how their American investors would rather pull out and sacrifice 850 jobs than succumb to intimidation.

It follows a campaign of violence and death threats against the firm in recent weeks.

But John McCartin believes QIH investors are more reluctant to back away from intimidation than to simply close the factory, a move that would devastate the border counties of Fermanagh and Cavan.

The five directors have faced prolonged intimidation aimed at forcing them out of their jobs.

Last month Kevin Lunney was abducted by a gang near his home in Fermanagh and badly beaten before being left at the roadside with severe injuries.

A former Fine Gael councillor, Mr McCartin said the intimidation is clearly aimed at causing enough chaos that US investors will accept the firm cannot be managed and hand back control to its founder and former owner, Sean Quinn.

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

Mr McCartin told the Irish Mail on Sunday that the owners have been crystal clear they would rather close operations than hand them back to Mr Quinn.

"If the point of this campaign is to prove that only Sean Quinn can operate these businesses, the worst-case scenario is that these guys manage to prove that. Well, these investors are not going to capitulate to that," he said.

"So if we end up out of that business, it closes. They've told us that. End of story.

"850 direct jobs and 2,500 jobs in the wider community would be gone and it will be absolutely devastating for the area. This campaign can lead to no good for anybody."

It came as Fr Oliver O'Reilly, the parish priest of Ballyconnell in Co Cavan, who spoke out against the intimidation, revealed that he is stepping up security at his parochial house.

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