Northern Ireland news

Kevin Lunney attack was 'cold and calculated', Leo Varadkar says

Kevin Lunney was abducted and tortured in September. Picture from BBC

KEVIN Lunney was "tortured" in a "cold, calculated attack" which had echoes of paramilitary assaults, the taoiseach has said.

Leo Varadkar told last night's BBC Spotlight programme that he was "horrified" by the kidnapping and torture of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) director Mr Lunney in September.

The 50-year-old was abducted from his home near Derrylin in Co Fermanagh by a gang of four masked men.

During the sadistic attack, the father-of-six had his leg broken in two places, his skin was sliced with a Stanley knife and he was doused in bleach. The letters QIH were also carved on his chest before he was dumped across the border in Co Cavan.

Speaking for the first time about his ordeal, Mr Lunney told last week's Spotlight programme that he feared he was going to die by the roadside.

"I thought are they going to shoot me. I thought that I wouldn't see the children," he said.

Read More: Fear of retribution lifted following death of Cyril McGuinness

In the second part of the programme, broadcast last night, the taoiseach said the attack was reminiscent of paramilitary beatings.

"I was horrified by it quite frankly," he said.

"I obviously heard some media reports but I think it's only when somebody recounts their own story that you can really get a full insight and understanding of what they went through.

"This was a planned, cold, calculated attack.

"He was essentially tortured and for me it brought back memories of the kind of attacks that paramilitaries used to carry out and maybe, on some occasions, still do."

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

Police on both sides of the border are still investigating the attack on Mr Lunney. However, a fresh threat was issued against the QIH directors earlier this month.

The attack was part of a campaign of intimidation directed at QIH, its management and employees.

The man believed to be responsible for putting together the gang who kidnapped and tortured Mr Lunney died suddenly last week when police raided a house in Derbyshire.

Cyril McGuinness (54), also known as 'Dublin Jimmy', collapsed and died on Friday.

A career criminal from Derrylin in Co Fermanagh, McGuinness is believed to be the "boss" rung by Kevin Lunney's attackers during his abduction.

Mr Lunney revealed last week that during his ordeal one of his abductors made a phone call and said "Boss, this man is resisting".

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