TD whose car was burned out 'feared same fate as Kevin Lunney'

Sinn Féin's justice spokesperson Martin Kenny feared he would suffer the same fate as Quinn Insurance official Kevin Lunney, who was brutally tortured by a criminal gang.

TD whose car was burned out 'feared same fate as Kevin Lunney'

The TD whose car was "burned to a shell" outside his family home feared he would suffer the same fate as Quinn Insurance official Kevin Lunney, who was brutally tortured by a criminal gang.

Sinn Féin's justice spokesperson Martin Kenny (pictured) admitted the worst case scenario went through his mind as he confirmed the "traumatic" incident left the outside of his home in "a ball of flames".

During a Dáil debate last week, Sligo-Leitrim TD Mr Kenny hit out at protests against asylum seekers and migrants coming to Ireland, saying he has received death threats for doing so and that the anger does not represent this country.

On Monday morning at 2am, Mr Kenny's car was burned out on the driveway of his family home by unknown individuals, leading to alarm from all sides of the political spectrum.

Speaking on local radio station Ocean FM today, Mr Kenny admitted what happened has been "traumatic" and "just crazy" as it occurred at his family home.

And, while insisting he will not back down and stop speaking out against what he described as racist protests against asylum seekers and migrants linked to the ongoing direct provision centres stand-off, Mr Kenny admitted he feared he was facing the same fate as Quinn Insurance official Kevin Lunney.

"I thought about Kevin Lunney and his car being burned and I realised ‘this is mad’," he said, adding the flames "cracked" the front door of his home.

"It's just crazy, I can't believe it. At about 2.15am I was asleep in bed, woke up, realised there was something hissing and cracking outside. I saw the flames and rang the fire brigade.

"It [the car] was a ball of flames... burned to a shell."

You can listen to the interview in full below:

Mr Kenny said he believes the criticism targeting him has "been coming for a couple of weeks" but that he wanted to make it clear that only "a small number of people are responsible for what happened here the other night".

Asked if the events over the bank holiday weekend made him consider stepping away from politics, he added: "I'm determined that I will continue to do what I do best and represent people."

Mr Kenny's comments came as political leaders from all parties all condemned the arson incident.

However, while the incident is likely to be raised at cabinet on Wednesday morning, the Irish Examiner understands no specific new actions will be proposed at this stage to address fears of a growth in racist-linked incidents in Ireland.

A garda spokesperson told the Irish Examiner while officers are continuing to investigate who may be responsible for the arson attack on Mr Kenny's car "there is no further information available on the incident at this time".

Meanwhile, speaking on RTE Radio's Today with Sean O'Rourke this morning, Independent senator and former justice minister Michael McDowell said what happened to Mr Kenny shows extremist groups have "crossed a line".

"It was absolutely abhorrent that he and his family had to live in fear because of cowardly people who appeared to have an ultra-right agenda," Mr McDowell said.

In a statement this evening, the administrator of the Catholic diocese of Kilmore where the incident occurred, Monsignor Liam Kelly, said Mr Kenny has been "courageous" and hit out at the "threatening messages" he has received.

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