The brother of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) executive Kevin Lunney has told of his horror and anger at hearing details of the assault as revealed in a BBC interview on Tuesday night.
“It was very difficult
He felt he was lucky not to have been assaulted himself and angry that people “would do the like. It’s unimaginable.”
Mr Lunney spoke of how on the night of the assault when he found his brother’s car burning, at first he feared his brother might have been in the vehicle.
Since the assault all QIH executives have taken security precautions, but he acknowledged that they could only do so much.
This needs to be resolved. This is not normal society. The only comfort will be when they are apprehended, put away.
Mr Lunney said he was happy with the way the meeting with the Garda Commissioner on Tuesday had gone. “He’s very well informed.” The Commissioner appeared open to the suggestion of a cross border task force and had not ruled out anything, he said.
“I know the PSNI and the Garda Siochana are working closely.”
There is still the obstruction of the border which adds another dimension to the task and “makes it harder to deal with these people who know every loophole of the law and how to drag it out.”
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said that this issue was something that “normal policing is not going to solve.” There has to be “a full, no holds barred response” from the State involving multiple agencies such as Revenue, CAB, the PSNI and the gardaí.
Former Attorney General and the Minister for Justice, Senator Michael McDowell added that the issue is complicated because it is in two jurisdictions. There has to be a resolute approach by police and other agencies, north and south, to re-establish rule of law in the area. Such actions cannot be ignored.
He called for actions such as heavy surveillance, bugging, tracking of cars and phones. “There has been a clear lapse of policing on both sides of the border.”
Even if the situation had not escalated with the assault on Mr Lunney, the issue should have been dealt with more swiftly and robustly. “Those posters should have been removed.” The underlying reasons why this had happened needed to be explored, he added.
Mr Martin said that money is the key to the issue for the criminals which means that an agency like CAB should be involved. “This cannot be allowed to continue. What message is this sending? What are we saying to would be investors for business in the region?”
Mr McDowell called on the two governments to make clear that QIH is “never going back to the old management.”
Mr Lunney pointed out that 99% of people in the locality support QIH and that it is “a small minority that has gotten power and a bit of status and they’re trying to destroy the area.”
It was important for people to see that the State is in control, he added.