Former Quinn group demands action after third arson attack

Car set on fire on Tuesday night at home of senior manager of Quinn Industrial Holdings

Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) has expressed frustration at the lack of arrests over a series of arson attacks on premises linked to its senior management, the latest of which occurred on Tuesday night at the home of its production director in Cavan.

At about 11.20pm, a car belonging to the daughter of QIH's Tony Lunney, who joined the group 35 years ago when it was run by Seán Quinn, was set alight outside his Ballyconnell home. The Garda has confirmed that officers attended "an incident of criminal damage by fire to a vehicle" in the area last night.

“No injuries were reported and investigations are ongoing,” the Garda said.


The company, now controlled by US hedge funds, is the target of hostility from some local supporters of Mr Quinn. He has vowed to regain control of his old business, which he lost when he went bust during the recession. He has, however, previously condemned any acts of violence.


Tuesday night’s incident is the third arson attack in recent months against senior management at QIH, which recently warned of an upsurge in acts of “intimidation” against its executives.

Unless politicians and authorities on both sides of the Border prioritise and resource this issue, lives will be lost

Gardaí are also investigating a suspected arson attack earlier this month at the Cavan home of Dara O’Reilly, chief financial officer of QIH. In September, there was another arson attack at a tyre factory owned by the family of another senior QIH manager.

Liam McCaffrey, the chief executive of QIH, has called upon authorities on both sides of the Border to focus on the issue before somebody is killed.

‘Grossly unacceptable’

“It is grossly unacceptable that criminals who threaten the lives and wellbeing of staff on both sides of the Border continue to operate with impunity,” he said.

“It is also enormously frustrating that following years of intimidation and threats and a substantial escalation of violence over recent months that not a single arrest has been made.”

Mr McCaffrey, who was formerly Mr Quinn’s right-hand man before the former billionaire lost control of his businesses, called upon politicians to provide resources to deal with the acts of intimidation in the area.

“Unless politicians and the authorities on both sides of the Border properly prioritise and resource this issue, as they have with gangland and paramilitary crime in other areas, lives will be lost. More than 830 staff and their families and the wider community are impacted by this violence and intimidation, and they are in urgent need of reassurance that this issue is being taken seriously.”

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times