Campaign of terror: 70 acts of vandalism and violence on Quinn Group firms

The burnt out oil tanker at the offices of the Aventas group, Ballyconnell, formerly Quinns, in December 2013. Photograph: Pacemaker

2011

April 14th: Seán Quinn and his family are removed from his businesses in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan and Derrylin, Co Fermanagh with the appointment of a share receiver by former Anglo Irish Bank.

April 18th: Large dumper truck parked across the entrance to Quinn Group headquarters in Derrylin.

May 15th: First arson attack is recorded at an isolated electricity substation on the Cavan-Fermanagh border.

May-June: Reports of sabotage to Quinn machinery and property including damage to electricity poles north of the Border.

July 24th: Several vehicles, including two vans and a lorry, are destroyed in a fire at Quinn Tarmac’s premises in Derrylin.

One of the burnt out vandalised vehicles at the tarmac plant in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan taken on 24th July. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan
One of the burnt out vandalised vehicles at the tarmac plant in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan taken on 24th July. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

August 9th: Quinn Group chief executive Paul O’Brien’s BMW 4x4 destroyed in an arson attack on his home in Co Meath.

December 22nd: Lorry driven into the Quinn Group canteen in Derrylin.

2012

January 14th: Disused office next to Quinn Group headquarters in Derrylin damaged by fire.

March 12th: Quinn company lorry parked outside Quinn Packaging in Ballyconnell set ablaze.

November 5th: Tractors are parked blocking road and lorry parked at entrance to Quinn Glass factory.

November 8th: Electrical substation at wind farm formerly owned by Seán Quinn near Ballyconnell targeted in arson attack.

2013

January 31st: Bullet sent to Lagan Group chief executive Kevin Lagan as he considers joint venture with former Quinn company.

March: Attempt to burn fibre-optic cable connecting former Quinn Group’s communications department. Three electricity poles cut down, one damaged by fire.

April 4th: Arson attack on machinery belonging to former Quinn Group at school in Ballinamore, Co Leitrim.

December 11th: Oil tanker driven into former Quinn Group head office and set on fire, almost two weeks after the Quinn Group businesses are renamed Aventas.

The extensive damage caused by a burnt out truck at the staff restaurant opposite the Quinn Group HQ in Derrylin, Co. Fermanagh. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan
The extensive damage caused by a burnt out truck at the staff restaurant opposite the Quinn Group HQ in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh in December 2011. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

2014

January 7th: Coach with tyres on board set alight at the entrance of Quinn Therm in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan. A sign saying, “Paul O’Brien Disaster Tours, Leaving,” is posted on the side of the bus.

January 22nd: Two telecoms cabinets demolished and set ablaze in Derrylin.

February 4th: Petrol bomb attack at the Quinn Group’s former property on the Ballyconnell Road in Derrylin.

February 9th: Three separate attacks costing €1 million take place at Lagan Group premises in Lisburn outside Belfast, in Co Down and in Co Cork: a digger and two dumpster trucks worth €900,000 are destroyed by fire at Ballystockart quarry in Co Down; a loading shovel worth €100,000 is burned at Lagan Asphalt Company at Carrigtwohill in Co Cork; and the graffiti: “Hands off Quinn - Stay Out Off [sic] Fermanagh,” is daubed at a Lagan-owned property in Lisburn.

March 5th: Generator set alight at Quinn Glass factory in Derrylin.

March 6th: Quinn Tarmac vehicle destroyed in arson attack at Donagh, Co Fermanagh.

March 13th: A modified jeep-type 4x4 vehicle with the roof cut off is loaded with tyres, petrol and small gas canisters and driven into the entrance of Quinn Packaging in Ballyconnell and set alight. The licence plate read: “POB1.” There were almost 20 staff working in the building at the time.

March 27th: Kevin Lagan is sent a death threat on the day his wife died, telling him that if he proceeded with a plan to buy a former Quinn Group business he “would not live to see the benefits of the sale.”

March 28th: Van filled with flammable substances set alight at logistics group Ceva at a business park in Little Island, Cork.

April 1st: Ceva pulls out of a proposed arrangement to operate trucking services for former Quinn Group business.

Kevin Lunney and Liam McCaffrey (right). Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
Kevin Lunney and Liam McCaffrey (right). Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

April 6th: Three vehicles damaged in an arson attack at a former Quinn quarry at Molly Mountain, Kinawley, Co Fermanagh.

April 9th: Lagan pulls out of plan to buy former Quinn rooftile-manufacturing business from Aventas, formerly Quinn Group, saying that no business could operate when criminal threats put employees, directors and families at risk.

April 15th: Bomb threat by anonymous caller shuts down Quinn Glass in Derrylin.

December 18th: A consortium of local businessmen and former Quinn Group directors known as Quinn Business Retention Company or QBRC buy remaining former Quinn Group assets from Aventas.

December 23rd: Seán Quinn returns to the business as a paid adviser to the new company known as Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) bringing drinks to members of staff at Derrylin head office. He is paid €500,000 a year and his son Seán jnr €100,000.

2015

January 20th: Articulated lorry set on fire at Derrylin cement works in first instance of criminal damage against the company since the local QBRC managers took charge of the former Quinn Group.

December 13th: A can of petrol and matches are found outside the door of a substation on the site of a wind farm near former Quinn Group head office with threatening graffiti saying: “Tony Kevin its [SIC]your choice.” A pig’s head is placed at the home of a director of QIH and is discovered by the director’s young children returning from a trip to Santa.

2016

February 9th: Equipment damaged and diesel tanks of machinery sabotaged at Swanlinbar quarry in Co Cavan.

February: Signs naming QIH managers and the words, “Money grabbing traitors and informers” are erected by the roadside close to company’s offices.

March: Package sent to Vestas Northern Europe, the company operating the former Quinn Group wind farm, containing three rifle bullets, a funeral wreath and a note warning Vestas workers to “stay away from Slieve Rushen or face the bullet.”

April: Sign appears beside the entrance to QIH head office saying: “Remove the UDA + UVF off our mountain or face the gun.” East Cork Crane Hire removes equipment from Fermanagh wind farm after receiving warnings it would be burned.

April 22nd: Seán Quinn issues statement condemning campaign of intimidation, one of a number of public statements disavowing the attacks.

May 20th: Seán Quinn leaves his role as an adviser at QIH by mutual consent.

August 8th-9th: Equipment damaged at Aughrim and Gortmullan quarries on Cavan-Fermanagh border.

September 22nd: Heavy plant and equipment damaged at Gortmullan quarry.

2017

January: Sand poured into hydraulic system of excavator at Gortmullan shale pit, damaging the equipment.

September 19th: Signs appear near QIH offices saying: “Sell out in Motion - Contact Present Management for Details” and “No Rock No Cement No Contracts No Jobs Only Quinn to Keep Jobs at Home”.

October 29th-30th: Signs appear north of the Border warning a supplier to QIH to “keep out of Derrylin Quarry Dispute.”

Photograph: Lorraine Teevan
Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

November 2nd: Two signs erected on Derrylin to Kinawley road saying: “Burn Glass Factory.”

November 22nd: Sign erected at entrance to Doon quarry near Derrylin threatening damage to property owned by person connected with QIH management.

2018

April 22nd: Sign erected at Ballyconnell criticising senior QIH managers Liam McCaffrey and brothers Kevin and Tony Lunney and the salaries they are paid by QIH.

May 3rd: A relative of a QIH manager is physically assaulted.

June-July: Signs appear in Ballyconnell and Derrylin criticising senior QIH managers and their salaries. One sign refers to “Stolen Empire.”

August 31st: Arson attack at tyre factory connected to Tony Lunney.

October 3rd: Lorry trailer overturned at QIH.

October 17th: Arson attack at home of QIH chief financial officer Dara O’Reilly in Butlersbridge, Co Cavan; car burnt out.

October 30th: Arson attack at home of Tony Lunney.

2019

February 1st: Kevin Lunney punched in the face and has his nose broken in an attack at a service station/restaurant in Ballyconnell; Dara O’Reilly has a cup of boiling water thrown in his face.

A still from the BBC Spotlight interview with Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney. Photograph: BBC Spotlight
A still from the BBC Spotlight interview with Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney. Photograph: BBC Spotlight

May: Anonymous death threat sent to QIH directors warning of a “permanent solution” for one of the named individuals.

September 17th: Kevin Lunney is abducted outside his home in Kinawley, Co Fermanagh, badly beaten and dumped on a roadside in Cornafean, Co Cavan more than two hours later.

October 28th: Letter threatening a “permanent solution” against QIH directors sent to the Irish News newspaper in Belfast.