Northern Ireland news

Sean Quinn: Attacks are not being done in my name

Sean Quinn told a local radio station that he was afraid that his family would be blamed for the attack on Kevin Lunney. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Sean Quinn has insisted attacks on Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) executives are not being carried out in his name and are damaging to his family.

He described the abduction and torture of Kevin Lunney, a senior director in the companies once owned by him, as "barbaric".

"As far as I am concerned, I have moved on and am involved in other things. We don't want to be labelled with this. This is the last thing we want," he told Northern Sound radio.

"The people doing this are not doing this for the Quinns because they should know this is going to damage the Quinns.

"My view is that you wouldn't do that to a dog. That is not natural and it doesn't make any sense to me."

A sinister element in the community in the Fermanagh/Cavan border area continues to vent anger at the fall of Mr Quinn's empire. Paramilitary involvement is suspected.

Sean Quinn said he has repeatedly condemned the attacks on QIH executives and that he and his family have no involvement with them.

"My family have been on to me and they are outraged as well. They have said we're going to take the flak for this and we are being blamed for this and that some people will look our direction at it," he said.

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"I am disappointed that people are always coming back to me and asking me about this because, since I left there and was sacked from there, the current executives and directors have issued legal proceeding against former directors, managers, staff, neighbours and friends. There is an awful of conflict down there.

"It is not me. I haven't been involved in those businesses for three and a half years.

"I'm condemning it totally and absolutely. There is no way around that. I am just saying it shouldn't still be linked to me or up to Sean Quinn to condemn this."

In an interview with Channel 4 news, Mr Quinn said since the attack on Mr Lunney he no longer has any desire to take back his former companies.

''People can say whatever they want about me but I don't want to be seen as being the beneficiary of abuse or criminal activity.''

He added that there was anger in the local community about how he claims he was treated by QIH executives but the attacks were not being done in his name.

His son Sean Quinn Jr has also spoken publicly about the attack on Mr Lunney.

"The people that are carrying out these despicable acts are not doing so for our benefit... and we are totally against this type of activity," he said.

At the height of the Celtic Tiger boom, Mr Quinn employed more than 8,000 people and had a personal fortune reported to be in the region of £3bn by 2008.

In an interview with the Sunday Business Post in March last year, he revealed his new business QuinnBet had made a profit in its first six months and that he has ambitions of returning to the manufacturing and hospitality industry that made him rich.

Mr Quinn (71) did not return calls from The Irish News.

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