Attack on QIH executive raises questions around security

Cantillon: No corporate rebranding or bodyguards engaged despite threats of violence

Back in 2010, Quinn Group senior executives Kevin Lunney, Liam McCafferty and Dara O’Reilly Quinn:   Sean Quinn family said they were “absolutely horrified to hear of the terrible ordeal which Kevin Lunney has endured”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Back in 2010, Quinn Group senior executives Kevin Lunney, Liam McCafferty and Dara O’Reilly Quinn: Sean Quinn family said they were “absolutely horrified to hear of the terrible ordeal which Kevin Lunney has endured”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

The kidnapping and vicious attack on Kevin Lunney, a senior executive with Quinn Industrial Holdings, was a shocking development in a saga that has dragged on for years.

Lunney’s car and another vehicle were found ablaze in a road near his family home shortly before 7pm on Tuesday evening, QIH said in a statement.

“Some hours later Mr Lunney was found badly beaten across the Border in Cornafean, Co Cavan, after he was dumped at the side of a road by his attackers,” the company said.

Lunney sustained a broken leg and range of other “very severe but non-life-threatening injuries for which he is being treated in a nearby hospital”.

‘Permanent solution’

This is but one of dozens of threats, intimidation and acts of violence against executives, managers and directors of QIH, which was formed in 2014.

The Irish Times has also seen a letter from May of this year, which included chilling threats of a “permanent solution” by the end of 2019 against one of five executives and directors of QIH.

Against this backdrop, you have to wonder why a bodyguard or security detail wasn’t assigned to Lunney and the other executives by QIH’s owners, who include three American private equity groups. Rebranding the company and removing the Quinn reference from its name would be another step in moving on from its past.

‘Absolutely horrified’

QIH was previously part of the business empire of billionaire-to-bankrupt Sean Quinn and his family. He returned to the company in 2015 on a lucrative consultancy contract but this arrangement ended in May 2016 amid acrimony.

The family of Sean Quinn said that they were “absolutely horrified to hear of the terrible ordeal which Kevin Lunney has endured” and condemned the attack on their former executive. They said their thoughts were with Lunney and his family.

It would also be helpful if the family desisted from airing criticisms of the way QIH is being run, which has only fanned the flames of discontent in the Border community.

Lunney went through a terrible ordeal but escaped with his life. The next person might not be so lucky.

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