Kevin Lunney: Gardaí ‘reasonably confident’ over site of assault

Searches continue in Cavan as gardaí identify container inside which businessman may have been attacked

Kevin Lunney: senior executive with Quinn Industrial Holdings  was brutally attacked after he was snatched on his way to his home in Derryline, Co Fermanagh. Photograph: PA

Kevin Lunney: senior executive with Quinn Industrial Holdings was brutally attacked after he was snatched on his way to his home in Derryline, Co Fermanagh. Photograph: PA

 

Searches in Co Cavan are continuing on Monday as part of a cross-Border investigation into the abduction and assault Kevin Lunney last week.

The search is focused on land near Ballinagh, Co Cavan, which is about 6km from Cornafean, and about 40km from where Mr Lunney, a senior executive with Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH), was abducted near his home on Tuesday evening.

Gardaí believe they have identified a container inside which the businessman and father of six was brutally attacked after he was snatched on his way to his home in Derryline, Co Fermanagh.

During this attack Mr Lunney suffered “life changing” injuries in what the PSNI described as a “most severe and savage” assault.

The gang that abducted Mr Lunney dumped him by the side of the road in Cornafean, Co Cavan a number of hours later.

“We are reasonably confident we have identified where the attack or torture took place,” said a source. “Obviously that will be dependent on confirming forensics and technical examinations and so on.”

CCTV footage on which it is believed one of the gang can be seen purchasing bleach, to be used to destroy forensic evidence, has also been recovered by the investigation team.

“We’ll be looking at all that sort of stuff to see what we can piece together,” the source said.

Any forensic material found could dictate the direction in which the investigation will turn, while evidence that the container was “cleaned” with chemicals could itself be significant.

An incident room has been set up in the Garda station in Ballinagh. Locals in the village, which is about 9km from Cavan town, did not want to comment when asked. “These things are best left to An Garda Síochána, ” said a local woman who did not wish to give her name.

Mr Lunney is one of a number of executives who formerly worked for the businessman Séan Quinn, and who are now helping operate the former Quinn-owned businesses in Derrylin.

They have been subjected to a series of threats over recent years as part of a sinister campaign against the new ownership of businesses that are vital local employers. Mr Quinn has repeatedly condemned the campaign.

Mr Lunney’s fellow QIH director John McCartin, said he was confident the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, with whom he had spoken, recognised the enormity of the situation.

“I have confidence that he shares the frustration I have with the lack of progress in bringing this [campaign of intimidation] to an end.

“I do think they get it now,” he said. “I think that every effort will be made to protect these businesses and the people that work here.” - Additional reporting PA