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Thursday 17 October 2019

Kevin Lunney attack: Gardaí carrying out fresh searches as they also examine shop CCTV

Kevin Lunney. Photo: Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA Wire
Kevin Lunney. Photo: Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA Wire
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Gardai have carried out a fresh search as part of their inquiries to establish where abducted company director Kevin Lunney was held and tortured by criminals with paramilitary connections.

The latest search, which got under way shortly before midday yesterday, focused on outhouses and sheds, several miles from the Cavan-Longford border.

The site is relatively close to the locations of two previous searches of a house and farmyard and business premises by gardai on Friday.

Investigating officers believe Mr Lunney, the chief operating officer of Quinn Industrial Holdings, was held in a horsebox, parked close to sheds, during a horrific ordeal in which his leg was broken and he sustained knife wounds to his chest, face and hands.

They think they are making significant progress with their inquiries to pinpoint the location as well as the identity of those involved.

Officers are satisfied that a crime gang with links to former Provisional IRA members was paid to carry out the attack on Mr Lunney as part of a campaign of intimidation against five senior executives from QIH, who had all previously received warnings from the thugs to resign from the company.

Investigation: Members of the PSNI near a laneway leading to the home of Kevin Lunney. Photo: Damien Eagers
Investigation: Members of the PSNI near a laneway leading to the home of Kevin Lunney. Photo: Damien Eagers

The investigation is also trying to establish the identity of the person or persons, who directed the gang to carry out the attack.

Gardai believe they know the identity of a man, who bought a bottle of bleach on behalf of the gang, around the time that Mr Lunney was being held.

Mr Lunney's brother Tony, QIH's production director. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Mr Lunney's brother Tony, QIH's production director. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Officers are now examining CCTV footage gathered from cameras located near shops and stores in the area.

The bleach was poured over Mr Lunney after he had been savagely beaten and stabbed in an effort to prevent gardai collecting any DNA evidence, which might help identify his kidnappers.

The thugs also cut off part of his fingernails during the ordeal.

Gardai from the Cavan-Monaghan division swooped on the outhouses and sheds yesterday morning to pave the way for a detailed forensic examination of the site by specialists from the technical bureau in the Phoenix Park.

PSNI forensic officers examine a laneway leading to the home of Kevin Lunney in Kilawley, Co Fermanagh. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM
PSNI forensic officers examine a laneway leading to the home of Kevin Lunney in Kilawley, Co Fermanagh. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM

Mr Lunney (50), a father of six, was abducted when his car was rammed as he arriving at his home in Kinawley, Co Fermanagh, and he was bundled into another car and taken to the horsebox where he was brutally attacked.

After the attack he was driven to Drumcoughill, Cornafean, Co Cavan, and dumped on the side of the road where he was found by a local farmer.

PSNI officers near a laneway leading to the home of Kevin Lunney, an executive of Quinn Industrial holdings, in Kilawley, Co Fermanagh. Photo: Damien Eagers
PSNI officers near a laneway leading to the home of Kevin Lunney, an executive of Quinn Industrial holdings, in Kilawley, Co Fermanagh. Photo: Damien Eagers

In a joint appeal, the Garda and the PSNI is seeking help from anyone, who may have seen a black Audi saloon being driven in the Derrylin, Fermanagh, Swanlinbar, Killeshandra, Cavan areas to contact them.

The gang suspected of being responsible for the attack on Mr Lunney is comprised of associates of a crime boss, who has had links with former IRA personnel in the past, and was also behind a spate of ATM and other robberies, both in the Border region and elsewhere in the State several years ago.

The crime boss is also well known to the PSNI and police forces overseas.

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