Gardaí were ‘victims of intimidation’ in Cavan-Fermanagh area

Cyril McGuinness suspected of arson attacks on car and tractor owned by Garda members

The laneway where Kevin Lunney was abducted. Photograph: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

The laneway where Kevin Lunney was abducted. Photograph: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

 

An arson attack on a Co Cavan garda’s private car and fire damage to a vintage tractor belonging to another garda were seen as “acts of intimidation,” their local Garda representative has said.

Cyril McGuinness, known as “Dublin Jimmy” in the Cavan-Fermanagh area where he lived, was a chief suspect in both attacks. McGuinness died of a suspected heart attack during a police raid in England last week.

The life-long criminal is suspected of carrying out the attacks, dating back to 2014, against local members of the force who had investigated his activities in the Border region.

“Our Garda members were victims of intimidation. One of our members had his car burnt out outside his home in 2014. That was a clear act of intimidation by serious criminal elements,” said James Morrisroe, the Cavan-Monaghan divisional representative for the Garda Representative Association.

He declined to comment on who gardaí suspected of carrying out the incidents.

The attacks on the private property of local gardaí came as policing resources in the Ballyconnell area, the scene of a targeted campaign of intimidation and violence against former Quinn Group interests, declined after 2011.

Mr Morrisroe defended local gardaí for their handling of the campaign of attacks directed at the former industrial factories and businesses lost by Seán Quinn in 2011 following his failed investment on Anglo Irish Bank shares.

Minister of State for Financial Services Michael D’Arcy criticised front-line gardaí in the Border region on Sunday saying that they had “let down” the Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) executive Kevin Lunney, who was abducted and tortured in September, and other QIH directors for not dealing “sooner and better” with the violence.

Mr Morrisroe said local gardaí were “trying their best with the resources they had.”

He believed increased policing resources on both sides of the Border would help to deter attacks. “There is no substitute for having guards on the ground.”