Northern Ireland news

Searches carried out in Kevin Lunney kidnap and torture probe

Kevin Lunney spoke to BBC's Spotlight programme about his abduction and torture
David Young, Press Association

Police investigating the kidnapping and torture of Co Fermanagh businessman have launched a co-ordinated search operation on both sides of the border and in England.

Kevin Lunney, a director at Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH), was abducted outside his Co Fermanagh home in September and taken to a horsebox across the border, where he was brutally beaten.

His attackers broke his leg, sliced his fingernails and face with a Stanley knife, carved QIH on his chest, and doused him in bleach.

Mr Lunney, a 50-year-old father of six, spoke publicly about his ordeal for the first time this week in a powerful TV interview.

Read More: Roots to fallout which saw Sean Quinn leave role at Quinn Industrial Holdings

The attack was the most serious in a five-year campaign of intimidation targeting the companies and directors that now control the business portfolio which was built up by fallen tycoon Sean Quinn, once Ireland's richest man.

A sinister element in the community in the Fermanagh/Cavan border area, where the companies are based, continues to vent anger at the demise of Mr Quinn's empire.

The Quinn family have consistently condemned and distanced themselves from those attacking the new owners.

Read More: QIH directors rule out meeting with Sean Quinn family

Prior to Friday, no-one had been arrested, with police on both sides of the border under mounting pressure to bring the perpetrators to justice.

This morning gardai were searching five locations in County Cavan, three locations in County Longford and four in Dublin. The premises are a mixture of domestic dwellings and commercial business premises.

The PSNI were searching five locations in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, and Derbyshire Police were searching a location in England.

Commenting on the PSNI operation, Detective Chief Inspector Julie Mullan said: "The investigation is continuing at pace and today's significant operation involves searching four residential properties and one commercial premises in the Derrylin area."

She added: "This was a truly horrific crime and we continue to work closely with our colleagues in An Garda Síochána and now also Derbyshire Constabulary.to try and bring the perpetrators to justice."

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