Kevin Lunney returns to QIH offices for first time since abduction
Varadkar promises extra security resources for Border area amid meeting with Garda chief
Businessman Kevin Lunney was kidnapped on Tuesday, September 17th, on a roadway in Co Fermanagh as he drove home from work.File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
Extra security resources will be deployed near the Border to deal with criminality such as that affecting Quinn Industrial Holdings, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said, as Garda Commissioner Drew Harris denied the region is becoming lawless.
Discussions focused on the intimidation and attacks on directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH); the weekend arson attack on the property of Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny; an attack on Emyvale Garda station in Co Monaghan; and the arrest of individuals from the Border region in the investigation into the deaths of 39 migrants in a lorry in the UK.
Two directors of the Co Cavan-based QIH warned last night that the Border region is “perilously close” to becoming lawless and could become “ungovernable” unless threats against the company’s directors are dealt with.
Liam McCaffrey, chief executive of QIH, also warned that a “properly resourced cross-Border taskforce” could be necessary to bring a halt to the threats if the current Garda/Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) investigation does not lead to arrests and convictions.
“If it doesn’t work,” he said, “then it almost says the structure of policing around here is wrong and that’s when we need to start to look at an alternative solution.”
Mr McCaffrey and four others, all directors of QIH, were advised on Monday that a fresh threat, which warned of a “permanent solution” unless they resigned their positions, had been made against them.
Those threatened include Kevin Lunney, who was abducted from outside his Co Fermanagh home last month and tortured before being dumped on a road in Co Cavan.
Mr Lunney returned to the company’s offices for a brief period on Wednesday in what was his first visit since he was attacked.
Mr Harris said he does not accept suggestions “that the Border area is lawless”.
“We are there to enforce the rule of law, to ensure the people can go about their business free from the fear of crime and we are determined in that.”
Mr Varadkar said: “These are issues we take of the utmost seriousness. They do raise questions about the rule of law in this State and I want to assure people that the State won’t be found wanting in ensuring that law and order prevails and that people in the Border counties can be assured of their peace and their security. We are keen to talk about how we can provide additional resources for the gardaí in that area.
“We must have the rule of law and order prevail in all parts of our country and people who live in the Border counties are entitled to peace and security just like everyone else.”