Police resources increased in Fermanagh over threats to Quinn directors

Senior PSNI officer says QIH investigation is a ‘critical priority’ for the force

A sign targeting QIH directors. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

A sign targeting QIH directors. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

 

“Significant resources” of uniformed police officers have been committed in Fermanagh, and this has been increased in the wake of fresh threats made against five directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH), the Border’s most senior police officer has said.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, who is responsible for policing in Border communities, said the investigation was a “critical priority” for the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Kevin Lunney, one of the directors of QIH in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, was abducted outside his home in Co Fermanagh six weeks ago and held captive, beaten and tortured before being dumped on a road in Co Cavan.

Earlier this week a fresh threat warning of a “permanent solution” unless they resigned their positions was made against Mr Lunney and four other QIH directors.

‘In this together’

Mr Hamilton said the threat “affects people in both jurisdictions”, and was “actioned by both services very fast and the same processes broadly taken”.

“We are very much in this together,” he said.

He also said he “would not accept” any suggestion that the Border was a lawless area. Most parts of Northern Ireland, including the Border, were “generally very safe places”, he said.

Separately, QIH director John McCartin has questioned why it has taken gardaí so long to remove a sign erected in Co Cavan that makes claims about salaries of the company’s directors.

It is understood that while some signs were removed following the receipt of enforcement notices from county councils, an enforcement notice in regard to the remaining sign was not complied with. In correspondence with QIH, Cavan County Council indicated it had concerns for its staff around the removal of the sign, and that it had been “advised by persons unknown” not to remove it.