Kevin Lunney says captors worked through ‘list of brutally specific orders’

Assailants told businessman they had to ‘mark’ him in attack to make him remember

September 29th, 2019: Fr Oliver O’Reilly, parish priest of Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, delivers a homily in the wake of the assault on local businessman Kevin Lunney, who is a director of building products manufacturer Quinn Industrial Holdings.

 

Kevin Lunney, the Fermanagh businessman who was kidnapped and tortured in September, says he believes his captors were acting on a “list of brutally specific orders”.

Speaking about the attack for the first time, the Quinn Industrial Holdings director said the gang broke his leg in two places, cut his face and carved the initials “QIH” into his chest with a knife on orders to force him to resign.

“I think certainly the breaking the leg was on the list. It was, ‘We have to rough you up, we have to mark you’, and I think at the end with the things on my chest, it was, ‘We have to make you remember’,” he said.

A lot of things went through my mind and I almost gave up. I gave up a few times and came back again

In an interview with BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight television programme, Mr Lunney recalled overhearing one of his captors speaking on the phone to someone he addressed as “Boss”.

Tony Lunney listens to Fr Oliver O’Reilly’s sermon condeming the attack on his brother Kevin. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan
Tony Lunney listens to Fr Oliver O’Reilly’s sermon condeming the attack on his brother Kevin. File photograph: Lorraine Teevan

He said the individual was “saying something like, ‘Boss, this man has resisted and we hit him’.”

Mr Lunney (50) graphically recalled how he was abducted outside his home in Co Fermanagh on September 17th, held and beaten for more than two hours, and dumped semi-naked on a Co Cavan roadside.

Country lane

He spoke at times tearfully about how he had to drag his injured body along a country lane “inch by inch”, seeking help, and how he feared he would never see his wife and six children again.

“I felt that I was going to die on the road. I felt I was trying to get to the light in the house. A lot of things went through my mind and I almost gave up. I gave up a few times and came back again, thought about the kids and thought about Bronagh and surviving,” he said.

Mr Lunney and four other local directors of QIH, a building materials company once owned by local businessman Seán Quinn, have been targeted in a years-long campaign of intimidation, vandalism and violence carried out by individuals in the area claiming to be angry about Mr Quinn’s loss of the business.

Mr Quinn and his family have repeatedly condemned the attacks.

Liam McCaffrey, John ‘Bosco’ O’Hagan, Dara O’Reilly, John McCartin and Tony Lunney, brother of Kevin Lunney, lead the rally of support by the staff of Quinn Industrial Holdings in Derrylin on September 20th, a few days after the attack on Kevin Lunney. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan
Liam McCaffrey, John ‘Bosco’ O’Hagan, Dara O’Reilly, John McCartin and Tony Lunney, brother of Kevin Lunney, lead a rally of support by staff of Quinn Industrial Holdings in Derrylin on September 20th, a few days after the attack on Kevin Lunney. File photograph: Lorraine Teevan

In a meeting with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris in Monaghan town yesterday, QIH’s other local directors urged him to set up a special cross-Border task force to police the region following the attack on Mr Lunney.

The failure to bring the “orchestrator and paymaster” of the campaign to justice would leave the local community in “a limbo status of fear and paralysis” that would undermine “the rule of law and order”, the directors said.