Seán Quinn condemns 'barbaric' attack on Kevin Lunney

Seán Quinn condemns 'barbaric' attack on Kevin Lunney
File photo of Seán Quinn

Businessman Seán Quinn has condemned as “barbaric” the attack on Kevin Lunney.

“Any proper individual with a sense of morals would condemn that,” he told regional radio station Northern Sound.

Mr Lunney, the chief operating officer of Quinn Industrial Holdings, was abducted and seriously assaulted before being dumped at the side of the road in Co Cavan.

He was seriously assaulted before being left across the border at the side of the road at Drumcoughill, Cornafean, Co Cavan.

He was discovered by local residents just before 9pm and was brought to hospital with serious injuries to his face and leg.

“My family is outraged as well and they fear that we will take flak for this,” Mr Quinn said.

Mr Quinn pointed out that “these guys sacked me over three years ago” and he had not been involved in the company since then.

The attack “just doesn’t make any sense, that’s not what moral individuals do to each other”.

He said he was disappointed that people were “blaming” him. There was a lot of conflict in the area because of legal proceedings.

But he “totally condemned” the attack on Mr Lunney, adding: “It shouldn’t be linked to me.”

Kevin Lunney
Kevin Lunney

His own family had contacted him, concerned that they “would be blamed for this,” he said. “What do they want me to do? Hang from the cross? I was never involved in violence, we’re not into that.

“All I can do is send out my condolences to Kevin and Bronagh and whatever number of children they have. Express my sympathy to them. My view is you wouldn’t do that to a dog. It is not natural, it is barbaric.”

Mr Quinn added that “the whole Quinn fiasco” had been calming down prior to this attack. “People were moving on with their lives,” he said.

He said he did not want to be associated with what had happened, adding: “People who are doing this are not for us, they are going to damage us. How can we be blamed for this?”

Mr Quinn said that the ongoing issue of ill feeling in the community could be resolved if Quinn executives met with the community to address concerns rather than issuing legal proceedings.

Intervention would help to get some sense of this thing.

“We’re out of it, but there is an ongoing problem. I’m not blaming anyone, but proceedings shouldn’t be in court; they should sit around a table."

'An attack on the economic well being of the region'

Meanwhile, Quinn Industrial Holdings executive John McCartan has warned that the attack on Mr Lunney will “injure everyone in the North West.”

The incident was “an attack on the economic well being of the region” and put more than the 850 Quinn Industrial Holdings jobs at risk – it would also have an impact on contractors and much of the wider economy and financial circles, he said.

Mr McCartan told RTÉ Radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that he wanted the people who carried out the attack on Mr Lunney “to be brought to heel” but that also the people who “instigated” and “were paying for” such incidents to be caught.

People in the area had been slow to speak in the past because of a sense of fear, he said. But their patience is now wearing thin.

When asked if he was concerned about the attack and other incidents of intimidation, he said yes, he was, but he was also concerned about the impact news of the attack could have on future investment in the business and the region.

Mr McCann said he had spoken with the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and was reassured that the Minister was aware of the enormity of the task and the level of resources that would be required to investigate the case.

Update: The chief executive of Manufacturing Northern Ireland, Stephen Kelly, has called on anyone who knows who was responsible for the attack on Kevin Lunney to give the information to the PSNI or the Gardaí.

"The people in that community know what is going on and they have information on those creating this havoc," he told RTÉ radio's News at One.

The campaign of intimidation on the executive of Quinn Industrial Holdings was also an attack on the community and it was something that the business community feared.

This is not just an attack on Kevin, it is on everyone trying to make a living in the area.

The executive at Quinn Industrial Holdings just wanted to ensure staff would get paid on Friday, he said. "They shouldn't have to face this intimidation."

"This really was a disgusting attack. The people dishing out the violence should be stopped."

Mr Kelly said that the Gardaí and the PSNI must have some idea of who was involved and he called on them to bring those people in for questioning.

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