Kevin Lunney attack: Mafia style group with its own Godfather operating, says priest
Parish priest of Ballyconnell says ‘rubicon has now been crossed by this most recent barbaric assault’
The parish priest said he was totally shocked and angry at the depraved and scandalous attack on Kevin Lunney by “hired savage thugs”. Photograph: Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA Wire
The attack on Quinn group executive Kevin Lunney was a modern form of crucifixion carried out by a Mafia-style group with its own “Godfather” and was financed by a “paymaster or paymasters” so consumed with hatred they have lost their moral compass, a parish priest will tell parishioners in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan this weekend.
Fr Oliver O’Reilly is set to unleash a blistering rebuke on both those who carried out the vicious 2.5 hour assault on the 50-year-old married father - which he likened to Islamic State terrorism - and also those who hired them.
There is “an obvious cancer of evil in our midst that needs to be exorcised before someone is murdered” and the vast majority of peace-loving law-abiding people of the area are being “held to ransom by a few unscrupulous individuals who are hugely dangerous”, he will say.
From the pulpit, Fr O’Reilly will describe the prolonged torture of a “decent family man” as a “modern form of crucifixion deployed by terrorist groups such as Islamic State.”
The priest, who was on holidays when he heard the news of “the barbaric and horrific assault” on Mr Lunney said he was totally shocked and angry “at this depraved act and scandalous attack on an innocent and powerless man by hired savage thugs”.
“This well planned and well organised abduction could only have happened when some person with ulterior motives agreed to pay these criminals a sum of money and gave instructions on what he required to be done to an unsuspecting victim,” he will say.
In his homily to be delivered at Our Lady of Lourdes church in Ballyconnell at 7pm on Saturday and 11:30 am on Sunday, as well as at St Dallan’s at Kildallan at 10am on Sunday, Fr O’Reilly will condemn “the paymaster or paymasters” of the “vile act” as well as the perpetrators.
“Some devious people are so consumed with hatred and enmity that they lose their moral compass and are prepared to hire the most ruthless of criminals to achieve their sinister goals,” he will tell church-goers.
Last week’s attack on Mr Lunney, who was slashed in the face with a Stanley-type knife, had his leg broken in two places and bleach poured over his wounds, was a “well planned and well organised abduction” which “could only have happened when some person with ulterior motives agreed to pay these criminals a sum of money and gave instructions on what he required to be done to an unsuspecting victim.”
Fr O’Reilly will denounce them in church as “compulsive liars.”
“This senseless atrocity follows years of threats, abuse, lies and various forms of violent intimidation, against the directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings,” he will say.
“Maybe some people in our region need to examine their consciences about their angry rants at public meetings and defamatory statements on one or more social media sites.
“They need to face the truth that their diatribes added to that climate of intimidation and incited hatred leading up to this dark deed. Let them now take responsibility for their actions and learn lessons.”
Fr O’Reilly will tell parishioners the “long reign of terror” now threatens “the lives and livelihoods” of everybody living in the Cavan, Fermanagh and Leitrim border region.
The parish priest will further attack the “false narrative” being pushed by a “small group of people in our midst” that the directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings are usurpers.
On the contrary, they are “quality leaders who courageously took on the management of this company at a time of crisis”, he will say.
“These men lost their jobs at the time of administration and only came back at the end of 2014 to manage this company in order to save jobs in our region,” he will say.
“They have excelled in their endeavours and expanded the workforce to 830 staff. Our support and respect for them has been well earned, and is well deserved.”
Fr O’Reilly will say that he and many like him in the area had been “far too complacent” about the campaign of violence waged against the Quinn group directors, thinking it would eventually peter out.
The priest will apologise for this to Mr Lunney, his family and Quinn management.
“We have all been hoodwinked,” he will say.
“I now believe there has been a Mafia style group with its own ‘Godfather’ operating in our region for some time behind the scenes. They have decided to ratchet up the intimidation.
“The rubicon has now been crossed by this most recent barbaric assault.”