Court in Lunney case hears evidence of contacts between phones

Evidence allegedly shows contacts between some of the accused and alleged organiser

Kevin Lunney has told the court that he was bundled into the boot of a car near his home and driven to a container where he was threatened and told to resign as a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings. Photograph: BBC Spotlight

Kevin Lunney has told the court that he was bundled into the boot of a car near his home and driven to a container where he was threatened and told to resign as a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings. Photograph: BBC Spotlight

 

The Special Criminal Court has been hearing evidence of contacts between mobile phones that the prosecution alleges were used in the preparation and carrying out of the abduction of and assault on businessman Kevin Lunney.

The phone evidence, which lawyers for the accused had tried to prevent from being admitted in the trial, allegedly shows contacts between some of the accused and Cyril McGuinness, the man the prosecution has said organised the abduction and has since died. Further contacts between phones attributed to the accused man Darren Redmond and a phone attributed to another accused known as YZ on the date of the offences were also highlighted by the prosecution.

A 40-year-old man known as YZ; Alan O’Brien (40), of Shelmalier Road, East Wall, Dublin 3; Darren Redmond (27), from Caledon Road, East Wall, Dublin 3; and Luke O’Reilly (67), with an address at Mullahoran Lower, Kilcogy, Co Cavan, have all pleaded not guilty to false imprisonment and intentionally causing serious harm to Mr Lunney at Drumbrade, Ballinagh, Co Cavan, on September 17th, 2019.

Senior intelligence analyst with An Garda Síochána Edel Hannigan told prosecution counsel Seán Guerin SC that she compiled charts showing the various contacts between the mobile phones that gardaí said belonged to the accused men and Cyril McGuinness. She also compiled charts of cell sites in Dublin and Cavan that some of the calls passed through.

‘Extensive contacts’

Ms Hannigan said McGuinness’s phone had contacted the phone attributed to Mr Redmond four times on September 12th, seven days before the abduction. There were “extensive contacts” between a phone attributed to Luke O’Reilly, ending in 640, and McGuinness throughout August and September. On September 16th, when the prosecution alleges the accused men carried out “preparatory” work for the abduction, McGuinness’s phone contacted the 640 phone at 10pm in a call that lasted 2½ minutes.

On the day of the abduction McGuinness’s phone called the 640 number at 7.30pm and 7.54pm. The first call lasted just over four minutes and the second was 42 seconds long. The following day McGuinness’s phone called the 640 number at 9.20am and at 3.30pm. The calls lasted 136 seconds and 116 seconds.

Mr Lunney, a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings, has told the court that he was bundled into the boot of a car near his home and driven to a container where he was threatened and told to resign as a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings. His abductors cut him with a Stanley knife, stripped him to his boxer shorts, doused him in bleach, broke his leg with two blows of a wooden bat, beat him on the ground, cut his face and scored the letters QIH into his chest. They left him bloodied, beaten and shivering on a country road at Drumcoghill in Co Cavan where he was discovered by a man driving a tractor.

Ms Hannigan will continue her evidence on Wednesday in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge David McHugh.