Republican gang blamed for bid to bomb former Quinn HQ
A GROUP of republican sympathisers is believed to be responsible for an attempt to blow up the headquarters of the former Quinn Group.
Police on both sides of the border have launched a massive investigation after an oil tanker was stolen and reversed into the front entrance of the building in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh.
The attack is understood to have been sparked following a recent decision to remove the Quinn brand name from the red-bricked building, replacing it with a new brand name, "Aventas Group".
The Quinn logo, which was set in concrete over the front entrance to the administrative offices of the group, was taken off on November 30.
In a statement, Aventas described the incident as "moronic" and said it was just the latest in a campaign of sabotage the company has endured.
The PSNI, with support from the gardai, are investigating the incident in which the truck was set alight with the intention of igniting the fuel tank to cause a massive explosion.
However, security staff quickly alerted the local fire brigade who brought the blaze under control before it exploded.
Security sources said that if the tanker had caught fire it could have caused "catastrophic damage and put innocent lives at risk".
CCTV footage showed two men arriving in the fuel truck, which was stolen locally, at 10.50pm. Sources have revealed that the chief suspects for the ongoing campaign are all known members of the republican movement from Leitrim, Cavan and Fermanagh, some of whom have close links both to Sinn Fein and dissidents.
Police have compiled intelligence files on the suspects who are known to them.
They reversed the truck three times into the doors of the building before setting the cab alight and fled in a car driven by a third person. The incident lasted just over a minute.
The company statement said: "Notwithstanding this moronic attempt to disrupt our business, our contingency plans were activated and all our businesses and services are operating as normal this morning."
Aventas blamed the attack on "a minority group and their sponsors outside our business" from the local community.
It added: "This latest incident is part of a continuing campaign of sabotage, intimidation and vilification against this company and employees.
"These people have a concerted agenda to undermine and destabilise our business with their own misguided and self-interested agenda in mind."
The group was taken out of the control of Sean Quinn, who built it up over 30 years.
But Mr Quinn and his family have condemned the attacks and have called for restraint.