Thursday 17 October 2019

'You have to ask what sort of animals would do that?' - Archbishop Diarmuid Martin condemns Kevin Lunney attack

Speaking in the Dail last Thursday, the Tanaiste said the attack on Kevin Lunney was reminiscent of
Speaking in the Dail last Thursday, the Tanaiste said the attack on Kevin Lunney was reminiscent of "gangland paramilitary-style punishment beatings of the past"

Sarah Mac Donald

The attack on Quinn Industrial Holdings CEO, Kevin Lunney, has been described as “sickening” by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin who condemned the perpetrators as “animals”.

Speaking exclusively to Independent on Sunday at Bonnybrook parish in Dublin, Dr Martin said the omertà and intimidation would only be broken by people in the local area working with the police.

“What happened there is just appalling. I am just astonished by the level of violence. People have to have the courage to break the silence and let what is known be known – that will help,” he said.

Dr Martin described the violence used against Mr Lunney as “sickening” and added, “You have to ask what sort of animals would do that?”

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

His criticisms were echoed by Fr Gerard Alwill, parish priest of Derrylin in Co Fermanagh. Speaking at all Masses over the weekend in his parish, Fr Alwill condemned what happened as “totally abhorrent to all decent people”.

He told parishioners, “Not only does this barbaric act run contrary to our Christian values, but it also runs totally against our own natural human values.”

Explaining that he could not face into celebrating weekend Masses in the parish without speaking about what had occurred last week, he said that the “savage attack” ran “totally contrary to every sinew of human decency that is within us” and to Christian values.

“I, as an individual, and we as a community, are both horrified and disgusted by the brutality of this attack and by the sheer heartlessness that could inflict such suffering on the wife, the children and the wider family of the individual concerned.”

Acknowledging people’s right to hold different opinions, he said they had the right to air such opinions but “nobody, has the right to inflict such an appalling and vicious onslaught on any man or woman, or on any family. In Christian eyes, there can be no justification whatsoever for such actions”.

The priest said that over the past few days he has sensed a growing feeling of anger, resentment and revulsion among the members of our community over what has happened.

“Those who have spoken to me have mentioned their sense of shock, their sense of outrage and their sense of disbelief that such a terrible thing could happen here. Many feel helpless and afraid, with no one to speak on their behalf.”

He implored those responsible to stop the violence now and added that there has to be a better way of resolving matters. “In the name of God - stop before somebody gets killed,” he appealed.

Separately, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin also hit out at drug feuds in the capital which he said are destroying people’s lives.

In Bonnybrook parish he said society is “alarmed at the horror of shootings among those involved in drug feuds. It is truly a horror story of violence and retaliation”. 

He added that too rarely the role of drug dealers in the “scandalous business of death” was highlighted.

“It is a business that kills and destroys lives and has no respect for the fragility of young people and particularly of fragile children. We have to do everything we can to help our young people to be drug free full stop.”

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