Threats against the directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) are "being taken very seriously at the highest level", according to the company's CEO.
Liam McCaffrey said the PSNI and gardaí are monitoring the homes and place of work of QIH's directors following a threat warning them that they "haven't learnt" their lesson from last month's abduction and torture of executive Kevin Lunney.
The threat, delivered to the Irish News, was conveyed to Quinn directors by gardaí. It claims to be the "last warning" to the five local managers of the company to resign or face a “permanent solution”.
The five directors are Mr McCaffrey, Kevin Lunney, Tony Lunney, Dara O'Reilly and John McCartin.
Mr McCaffrey told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that since he was informed of the threat, “there has been a lot of Garda Síochana and PSNI activity monitoring our homes and workplace.”
It was difficult to deal with a small group of criminals led by a task master, he said.
“We just have to trust in the Garda Síochana and PSNI investigations.”
It was horrendous for any civilised society to have to operate with such sinister threats, he added.
Mr McCaffrey said that Kevin Lunney was recovering well.
QIH Director John McCartin said that the latest threat did not come as a surprise.
Mr McCartin told Newstalk Breakfast that the campaign is likely to continue until whoever is financing it is brought to justice.
“What happened to Kevin Lunney couldn’t have happened without somebody sitting down planning, procuring and financing it.
“The finance of an operation like that – involving between 12 to 20 people, I’m told is estimated by the experts, stealing vehicles, having them disposed of, getting a site for the torture to be conducted – all of that requires a lot of planning and a lot of money.
“There has to be an entity whose interests are aligned with this particular campaign and who is paying for it.”
When asked whether the directors would consider stepping away from the company, he warned that would put thousands of jobs in the region at risk – and could embolden the criminals to continue their attacks.
He said he believed Gardaí in the area are well resourced and are carrying out a “very, very thorough” investigation.
Assistant Garda Commissioner for the North West Region, Barry O'Brien, has said that despite the latest threat to Quinn Industrial Holdings directors, he is confident of progress in the on-going investigation.
Gardai and the PSNI have been very successful in the past in tackling criminality in the border region and a substantial investigation is now underway, he told RTÉ Radio’s News at One.
Protective measures have been put in place both in the Republic and across the border for the directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings with both forces working closely to bring the perpetrators to justice, he said.
Assistant Commissioner O’Brien said he was confident that the substantial combined investigations into the threat to Quinn executives along with the arson attack on Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny's car outside his home in Co Leitrim and an arson attack on Emyvale Garda Station in Monaghan will make progress.