Kevin Lunney attack: criminal gang has no political ideology

Coalition of money-oriented Border criminals led by Leinster man believed responsible

The laneway where Quinn Industrial Holdings Director Kevin Lunney was abducted is cordoned off by PSNI. Photograph: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

The laneway where Quinn Industrial Holdings Director Kevin Lunney was abducted is cordoned off by PSNI. Photograph: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

 

The coalition of criminals suspected of the Kevin Lunney abduction has members on both sides of the Border and a significant presence in Dublin.

Although the group is mainly comprised of men from Cavan, Fermanagh and other Border counties, Dublin criminals are very influential in the group. One leading man in the group is a major national figure in theft and smuggling and has extensive criminal interests in Britain and continental Europe.

Garda sources said although it had been suggested the men who attacked Mr Lunney were current or former paramilitaries, this was not the case. Their group was a strictly criminal coalition, the sources said.

Gardaí believe that, under the stewardship of a middle-aged man from Leinster, the group has effectively waged a war against Irish and foreign business interests who bought parts of Seán Quinn’s former empire.

During that campaign, bullets have been sent to companies that have bought some of the former Quinn assets. Vehicles have been destroyed in arson attacks or by corrosive substances being poured into their engines.

Quinn’s return

Much of that activity, and a social media campaign, has focused on Kevin Lunney and his fellow Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) executives, while also seeking to promote Seán Quinn’s return to the businesses he has long lost control of.

Mr Quinn condemned the activity, including the abduction and beating of QIH chief operating officer Mr Lunney. He said last week: “My family is outraged as well and they fear that we will take flack for this.”

Gardaí believe the same large coalition of criminals is behind the attack on Mr Lunney and the campaign of violence and intimidation in Cavan and Fermanagh over recent years.

At least three small business owners – in Dublin, Cavan and Fermanagh – have long been under investigation over their suspected involvement in the campaign.

Their premises have been searched and some of their assets have been taken by the Garda as the suspected proceeds of crime.

The man from Leinster suspected of leading the criminal coalition has used a number of business interests to launder the proceeds of smuggling and a major theft-based scam with an international reach.

Damage

He has also been involved in crimes causing significant environmental damage and has spent time in prison on both sides of the Border and abroad; using a large number of aliases during his travels.

Another borderlands figure who is very close to the leader of the criminal coalition is also now a significant person of interest to the Garda and PSNI investigations into the attack on Kevin Lunney.

And gardaí are also focused on a young man from the Cavan-Fermanagh area who has no criminal record but whom they believe was persuaded to aid the men who attacked Mr Lunney during the aftermath of that attack.

Mr Lunney was abducted from his car about 500m from his home in rural Co Fermanagh last Tuesday at about 6.40pm.

He was discovered on a roadway in Co Cavan 2½ hours after his abduction. He had been very badly beaten and had also been tortured. His leg was broken and he had suffered a number of slashes inflicted with a knife.