Quinn executives advised by gardaí to install panic rooms
Quinn Industrial Holdings staff given warning after ‘life-changing’ assault on Kevin Lunney
PSNI officers at the laneway at Kinawley in Co Fermanagh where Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney was abducted on Tuesday. Photograph: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press
Senior executives at Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) who have been subjected to a nearly five-year campaign of violence and threats have been advised by gardaí to install panic rooms in their homes.
The executives have also been advised not to stop their cars for any person or for any reason on the roads, such is the level of threat against them.
The advice came after the company’s chief operating officer, Kevin Lunney, was kidnapped on Tuesday on a roadway in Co Fermanagh as he drove home from work. He was then subjected to a two-hour ordeal, during which he was viciously beaten by a group of masked and armed men.
The dozen-strong gang had prepared a horsebox as a mobile torture chamber before the attack. Some of the 50-year-old’s fingernails were pulled out during the assault, his face and neck were slashed with a Stanley knife and his right leg was badly broken twice below the knee.
His injuries have been described as “life-changing” by gardaí, who said the father of six was beaten “within an inch of his life” before being dumped on a Co Cavan road some 35km from his home.
Police believe the attackers have carried out similar assaults before, given that they took care not to leave behind incriminating DNA evidence by pouring industrial-strength bleach over the businessman’s wounds.
Mr Lunney and other QIH executives have been the subject of numerous threats from anonymous people in recent years, since they began running some of the companies that were formerly part of the empire run by businessman Seán Quinn.
Informed sources said gardaí had advised on the installation of panic rooms, which are designed to be invulnerable to attack or intrusion. Officers were also sent to the homes of the other QIH executives on Tuesday night immediately after Mr Lunney’s abduction to ensure that they were safe.
Sources said there was significant concern among law enforcement on both sides of the Border as it had been feared Mr Lunney had been taken away to be murdered, in light of recent threats that a “permanent solution” would be found for some QIH executives.
Mr Quinn told Northern Sound radio that he condemned the “barbaric” attack on Mr Lunney. “My family is outraged as well and they fear that we will take flack for this.”
A rally in support of Mr Lunney, who has worked with what was the wider Quinn Group since 1996, is planned for today at 3pm at QIH’s premises in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh.