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Wednesday 24 September 2014

Arson attacks began after liquidators moved in

Emma Jane Hade

Published 31/05/2014 | 02:30

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One of the burnt out vandalised vehicles at Sean Quinn's Tarmac Plant in Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan taken on 24 July. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
One of the burnt out vandalised vehicles at Sean Quinn's Tarmac Plant in Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan taken on 24 July. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

EVER since the Quinn Group was taken over by Anglo Irish Bank three years ago, the new management team and potential business partners have been subjected to a litany of terrifying attacks.

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A campaign of terror targeting the company's senior executives and people hoping to do business with the group was first launched within hours of the takeover of the company in 2011.

They began to escalate in the following months.

Between May and July that year, it is understood that staff and executives received threatening messages and phone calls.

The first arson attack was carried out in May 2011, and later that summer five cars were burnt out.

It is understood that Paul O'Brien – the group's new chief executive – had his car "firebombed" in the driveway of his home.

Diesel pumps were also sabotaged, while steel spikes were used to damage tyres of company vehicles.

It was reported that these attacks were scaled down in 2012, but have recently kicked off again.

It is understood that the recent upsurge in the intimidation campaign may be linked to the company changing its name to Aventas.

The most sickening of the 70 or so attacks was directed at the boss of Belfast's Lagan Group, a major construction firm.

They pulled out of a bid to purchase Quinn Rooftiles after group chairman Kevin Lagan was understood to have received a letter on the day his wife died, warning him that purchasers "would not live to see the benefits of the sale".

Sean Quinn and his family have consistently denied any involvement in the attacks, and have pleaded with those behind them to stop.

Irish Independent

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