Northern Ireland news

Secrets held by Cyril McGuinness will now go to the grave with him

Cyril McGuinness, aka 'Dublin Jimmy', pictured in 2014. Picture courtesy of Sunday World

THE death of the man thought to be the chief suspect in the abduction of businessman Kevin Lunney is just the latest twist in this extraordinary story.

The brutality of the kidnapping and torture of the Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) director from his Derrylin home in September shocked people across Ireland.

What the case has also done is highlight that there are still areas around the border that have not been normalised and operate day-to-day differently to the rest of the island.

Traditionally distrustful of law enforcement and reluctant to be seen cooperating with the authorities, it is a hangover from a time when policing was conducted only on a militarised, security footing in the region.

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

This lawless perception does not mean that there is public support for what is happening to the directors of QIH - who remain under constant threat - far from it, but it is very much a case that people remain too afraid to speak out.

While police on both sides of the border have built up intelligence profiles on all the main suspects involved, in not just this kidnapping, but the two year campaign of intimidation against QIH staff and property, they are struggling to find hard evidence.

This was confirmed by An Garda Síochána yesterday who stated that more than 100 specialist officers involved in searches of commercial and residential premises in Cavan and Dublin are at the "evidence gathering stage", suggesting they are far from ready for the courtroom.

Building up a case to criminal standards, in an environment where the law of the land is still 'omerta', is no easy task.

It was always known that those responsible for the Lunney attack criss-crossed worlds, from criminal to dissident republican.

Some of the people involved have been immersed in cross-border crime for decades and have the ability to use the two jurisdictions to evade justice for much of their money-making activities.

The information seized by police in Derbyshire yesterday from the home of Cyril McGuinness could help build up a better picture of the campaign to remove the directors of the business.

But more than likely many of the secrets held by McGuinness will go to the grave along with him.

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