The three men found guilty of the abduction and torture of Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney have lodged appeals against their convictions and the severity of their sentences.
They were given sentences ranging from 18 to 30 years by the Special Criminal Court last month over their involvement in the kidnapping of Mr Lunney (51) from near his Fermanagh home in 2019.
A court official said two of the men, Alan O’Brien and a man known as YZ, filed notices of appeal on December 22, just two days after being sentenced.
The third man, Darren Redmond, filed notice of appeal on January 10.
It is not yet known what their grounds of appeal will be. These will not need to be filed until a later date.
The appeal could be heard later this year. It generally takes 20 weeks from the time an appeal is entered on the court’s list for a hearing to take place.
The man known as YZ, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was found by the Special Criminal Court to have inflicted most of the injuries on Mr Lunney. He was jailed for 30 years.
O’Brien (40), of Shelmalier Road, East Wall in Dublin, received 25 years, while co-accused Redmond, of Caledon Road, East Wall, was sentenced to 18 years with the final three suspended. A fourth man was acquitted.
The Special Criminal Court found the offences were organised by Cyril McGuinness, a well-known criminal with the nickname “Dublin Jimmy”, who collapsed and died as police searched his home in England.
A suspected paymaster behind the attack has not been brought to justice.
Father-of-six Mr Lunney was kidnapped on September 17, 2019 as he returned home from work.
His car was rammed before being set on fire. He was bundled into the boot of an Audi A4 and driven to a farm in Co Cavan.
He was tied up inside a horse box, beaten, slashed on the face and chest with a Stanley knife, with the initials QIH carved into his chest, and one of his legs was broken.
During the vicious assault, Mr Lunney’s kidnappers urged him to resign from his job. They later doused him in bleach and dumped him on the side of the road. The ordeal lasted two-and-a-half hours.
Issues which could be aired in the appeal include the non-jury court’s jurisdiction to try the three men.
One of the accused, YZ, previously had a High Court challenge on the issue of jurisdiction dismissed after he was found to be outside the time period allowed for filing the action.
He claimed the decision that he should not be tried before a jury represented a significant curtailment of his constitutional rights.
Another issue which could arise in the appeal is the use of retained data.
The non-jury court rejected a bid to halt the trial until after a still to be delivered ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union on a challenge to Ireland’s data retention laws by convicted killer Graham Dwyer.
Ultimately, the Special Criminal Court said that while phone data supported its conclusions in the Lunney case, it was able to reach the verdicts independent of this evidence.