Seán Quinn stands over TV comments about QIH executives

Liam McCaffrey ‘shocked’ at Quinn’s criticism of him, Kevin Lunney and Dara O’Reilly

Seán Quinn: in an interview with Channel 4 News, the former businessman named his three former managers  as people who ‘came against me’.   Photograph: Collins

Seán Quinn: in an interview with Channel 4 News, the former businessman named his three former managers as people who ‘came against me’. Photograph: Collins

 

Former businessman Seán Quinn has stood over comments criticising businessman Kevin Lunney and two other former executives over his removal as an adviser to his one-time business.

Liam McCaffrey, chief executive of Quinn Industrial Holdings, said he was “shocked” that Mr Quinn had criticised him, Mr Lunney and another former executive, Dara O’Reilly, for their role in his removal as an adviser to the company in 2016 after Mr Quinn fell out with the US investment fund owners of the business.

Mr Quinn said he had “no response to it at all” when contacted by The Irish Times for a response to Mr McCaffrey’s criticism of his remarks in a Channel 4 News interview last week in which he named the three men as people “who came against me”.

“I have said what I have said. I would be fully standing over it [his remark about the three men],” Mr Quinn said, declining to comment further, saying that he had “done enough interviews”.

Mr McCaffrey described it as “extraordinary” that Mr Quinn, while denying he “any hand, act or part” in Mr Lunney’s kidnapping and torture last month, would use the interview as “an opportunity to make further critical comment under the circumstances where Kevin [Lunney] had been beaten to within an inch of his life.”

Multibillion losses

In an interview conducted at his home outside Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, Mr Quinn was asked by Channel 4 News about the loss of his business group over multibillion losses on a boom-time bet on Anglo Irish Bank shares. He remarked that he “never thought” people were against him.

“The first people who came against me was my own men that I had looked after well for 20 or 25 years and never had a row with. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

Asked by the interviewer who he was talking about, Mr Quinn identified the three men as “Liam McCaffrey, Kevin Lunney and Dara O’Reilly”.

The three former businessmen were among a local management group who in 2014 took over the running of the Co Fermanagh-based building materials group founded by Mr Quinn in the 1970s, on behalf of a consortium of three US hedge funds which had acquired the group’s borrowings in the debt markets.

They are among a group of QIH managers who received deaths threats urging them to resign.

Mr Quinn has condemned the attacks on his former managers and the campaign of intimidation against his former business

The death threats were delivered again while a gang inflicted injuries on Mr Lunney in a sustained attack in a horse trailer on September 17th. He received lacerations to his face and neck, had one of his legs broken in two places and, as his brother Tony Lunney confirmed, had the initials “QIH” carved into his chest.

Nose broken

In an earlier incident, Mr Lunney had his nose broken when he was punched by a man at a service station cafe in February and Mr O’Reilly had a cup of boiling water thrown in his face.

Mr Quinn has condemned the attacks on his former managers and the campaign of intimidation against his former business. He described the most recent assault on Mr Lunney “despicable and totally barbaric”.

In May 2016 Mr Quinn and QIH announced that he had agreed to leave the company. Two months earlier, the US investors told the firm’s management that Mr Quinn had become “increasingly uncomfortable” with his role as an adviser to the company and wanted to take ownership in the firm, something they would not accept.

The salary of €500,000 paid to him as an adviser made him the highest-paid member of the company’s management team.