Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Quinn boss attack is a worrying trend

'It is imperative that the police on both sides of the border redouble their efforts to bring the criminals to justice and allow legitimate businesses to continue their work' (stock photo)
'It is imperative that the police on both sides of the border redouble their efforts to bring the criminals to justice and allow legitimate businesses to continue their work' (stock photo)

Editor's Viewpoint

The brutal attack on a company executive who runs part of the business empire founded by Sean Quinn, once Ireland's richest man, is a worrying escalation of a campaign of violence and intimidation directed at those who took over the companies surrendered after Mr Quinn was made bankrupt.

Kevin Lunney, who has been targeted before, was kidnapped as he drove to his home on Tuesday evening, bundled into the boot of a car and later subjected to a ferocious beating which left him with life changing injuries to his legs, torso and face. Finally he was dumped at the side of the road in Co Cavan where he was found by a passer-by.

One can only imagine the terror he must have felt during his ordeal and also the effect on his family and friends who would have feared the worst in the hours he was missing.

The terror campaign, which has included assaults, arson and online threats, has been ongoing for at least two years and has been roundly condemned by the Quinn family.

A statement from the family said they were horrified to learn of Mr Lunney's ordeal and angered that their former ownership of the companies is being associated in any way to such abhorrent acts.

There could not be any clearer denunciation of the criminal behaviour of those responsible and it is obvious that the campaign will in no way assist the family ever resuming control of their former business empire.

Sean Quinn was a much admired business figure in the border region for bringing hundreds of jobs to the area in a diverse range of industries and services, but his interest in the companies ended when he was made bankrupt.

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Along with the escalation in the severity of the attacks it is worrying that neither the PSNI nor the Gardai have made a single arrest in the past two years. The forces say their investigations are ongoing, but that is little consolation to those against whom the attacks are being directed.

It is obvious that those involved are ruthless and determined, and in a way their campaign underlines yet again the difficulties in policing the border region. That is an issue which has been well ventilated in recent times ahead of the impending Brexit and here is a live example of the problem police can face. However, it is imperative that the police on both sides of the border redouble their efforts to bring the criminals to justice and allow legitimate businesses to continue their work.

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