Arson attack at home of Quinn Industrial Holdings CFO
Company says attack is ‘beyond the pale’ and asked for people to ‘speak out’
Gardaí are investigating a suspected arson attack at the Cavan home of Dara O’Reilly (above right). Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
Gardaí are investigating a suspected arson attack at the Co Cavan home of Dara O’Reilly, chief financial officer of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH), which comprises several companies originally assembled by former billionaire Sean Quinn.
QIH recently complained of a renewed campaign of “intimidation”against its management team by self-declared supporters of Mr Quinn, who wants to regain control of the group following his bankruptcy. He has previously condemned all acts of intimidation.
“My family and I are still in shock, but our overriding emotion is one of relief that we all managed to get out safely and of appreciation to the emergency services whose speed of response saved our home,” Mr O’Reilly said.
QIH has condemned the attack on Mr O’Reilly’s home as “beyond the pale” and asked for people to “speak out”.
The company said the attack occurred at about 11pm on Wednesday night at Mr O’Reilly’s family home in Butlersbridge. QIH says a car parked to the rear of his home, underneath a bedroom window, was set on fire. Mr O’Reilly was in the house at the time with his wife and two young children, but all escaped unharmed.
“The rear of the home sustained some damage from the intense heat of the burning vehicle, but further damage was contained by the prompt action of the Fire Service,” said QIH.
Gardaí confirmed on Thursday that they are investigating a suspected arson attack at a house in the area.
Adrian Barden, the chairman of QIH, who warned staff recently that a campaign of intimidation and defamation was under way against the group, said it was an “attack on a peaceful and hardworking community”.
“We have previously warned that a continuation of these attacks will result in injuries or fatalities, and we call on those with influence or knowledge of those engaged in these criminal actions to speak out,” he said.
“Notwithstanding this intimidation QIH reaffirms our commitment to continuing investment and growth in the region, assisted by the incredible support and commitment of our 830 locally based staff.”
Mr Quinn lost control of his businesses during the recession, but rejoined as a consultant in 2015 when US funds backed a local buyout of old Quinn Group assets on the Cavan/Fermanagh border. However, Mr Quinn left again in 2016 after a dispute with the new owners.
In the period since, there have been sporadic attacks, including vandalism and threats, against QIH and its senior management. Mr Quinn has disavowed all attacks carried out by people who claim to support him.
The attacks died down, but in recent months there has been a resurgence of incidents. Last month, for example, there was an arson attack against a tyre factory owned by the family of a senior QIH manager.
The group, the performance of which has been criticised by Mr Quinn, who wants to regain control of his former empire, also recently complained of a “resurgence of negativity and misinformation” against the company online.
At a rally in his support in Cavan last month, an emotional Mr Quinn vowed to regain control of the companies.