Northern Ireland news

John McCartin: My chilling encounter with Dublin Jimmy

Cyril McGuinness collapsed during a search of a house in Derbyshire last week

John McCartin, a QIH director and one of the five men told to resign or be killed during the torture of Kevin Lunney, only encountered Cyril McGuinness a couple of times.

He was putting his bins out one evening in early 2015 when he heard the wheels of a car and looked up.

There sitting in the passenger seat of a black Mercedes was a man he recognised from the front page of a Sunday newspaper as Cyril McGuinness, also known as Dublin Jimmy.

The convicted criminal, who died suddenly when police raided a house in Derbyshire last week, is believed to be the "boss" rung by Kevin Lunney's abductors during his abduction.

Beside Mr McGuinness, in the driving seat of the car, was a local man known to John McCartin.

In the back seat was someone Mr McCartin recognised to be a notorious former IRA member.

Read More: Threats made to QIH directors were made face to face and reported to police

"I was chilled by it. I made eye contact and nodded to them. I thought they might pull down the window. but they didn't and drove off."

Mr McCartin, who lives in Newtowngore in Co Leitrim, had in December 2014 been part of a team which had secured American private equity money to buy part of the former Quinn Group empire.

The deal had been done with the blessing of the founder Sean Quinn who had lost the company in 2011 after a bad bet on Anglo Irish Bank shares.

However, relations had become sour between the new QIH directors and Mr Quinn.

John McCartin: Every time the car in front slows I think, God, is this it? Is this the end?

Mr McCartin said it was one of two times he had seen Mr McGuinness.

The first time was years before when Mr McCartin was playing traditional music in a pub in Ballyconnell in Co Cavan. Mr McGuinness repeatedly requested rebel songs which Mr McCartin was reluctant to play.

"The bar man later said to me I was lucky I showed him disrespect and got away with it."

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