Northern Ireland news

Fears of loss of life after latest attack on directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings

The two men attacked in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, are directors at Quinn Industrial Holdings. Picture by BBC
John Monaghan

A director of Quinn Industrial Holdings has spoken of the board's fears that someone could be killed after two fellow directors were attacked in a Co Cavan shop.

It is the latest in a series of attacks in recent months against staff and property of the firm, whose operations were previously part of Sean Quinn's business empire before being bought over by an international consortium.

It has been reported that one of the men had scalding or hot water thrown in his face, while another was repeatedly punched.

The pair were attacked while at a service station and restaurant in Ballyconnell at around 1.30pm on Friday.

They both received hospital treatment for facial injuries.

The suspect, believed to be from the north, fled the scene after members of staff and the public intervened.

Mr Quinn relinquished control of his former business empire in 2011 over €2 billion debts to the Anglo Irish Bank.

He has repeatedly condemned the attacks on QIH, which is headquartered in Derrylin in Co Fermanagh and employs almost 800 people.

John McCartin, a company director and Fine Gael councillor in Co Leitrim, told The Irish News that they "will not be deterred".

"We have written to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, and the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, informing them of our fears of loss of life. I just hope that doesn't fall on deaf ears," he said.

"It would appear to be the same group with the same aims and agenda."

In a statement, QIH chief executive Liam McCaffrey said: "We are very grateful to members of the local community and to QIH staff who intervened so quickly to stop this vicious physical assault on two of our senior management team as they as they bought their lunch in a local store.

"Cowardly unprovoked attacks of this nature cannot be allowed to go unpunished and we trust the authorities will deal with this accordingly."

A Garda spokesman said: "Two males received facial injuries, which are not believed to be serious.

"No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing."

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