Northern Ireland

Some charges dropped against Bernard McGovern

Co Fermanagh businessman Kevin Lunney
Co Fermanagh businessman Kevin Lunney Co Fermanagh businessman Kevin Lunney

Charges of assaulting police brought against a Co Fermanagh man accused of attacking businessman Kevin Lunney have been dropped

However, Bernard McGovern continues to face extradition proceedings connected to an alleged assault on the Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) executive at a Co Cavan service station in February 2019.

During the incident Mr Lunney's nose was broken and his colleague Dara O'Reilly had hot water thrown over his face.

Mr McGovern denies any involvement.

The 23-year-old had been charged with two counts of assault and one of resisting arrest after police called at his home near Kinawley last September.

Earlier this year he and his parents were arrested and questioned in connection with a separate serious assault on Mr Lunney carried out last year.

Another close relative was also detained by gardaí in Co Cavan.

A father-of-six, Mr Lunney was taken by a gang to Co Cavan where he was subjected to a terrifying ordeal at his Co Fermanagh home last September.

He suffered a broken leg, had the letters QIH carved into his chest with a Stanley knife and was doused in bleach.

Mr McGovern and his relatives deny any part in the attack.

His solicitor Michael Brentnall, of Brentnall Legal, said: “Our client had been arrested and charged with offences that related to his arrest under a European Arrest Warrant. These charges have been subsequently withdrawn by the PPS."

Mr Brentnall said he had been instructed to initiate civil proceedings for unlawful arrest and assault and the matter had been referred to the Police Ombudsman.

A spokeswoman for the PPS said: “After careful consideration of all available evidence at that time, a decision was taken to prosecute the suspect for two counts of assault on police and one of resisting arrest.

“We have a duty to keep all our prosecution decisions under review. In this case an issue arose at a later stage which led to a reconsideration of the available evidence.

“As a result, it was concluded the test for prosecution was no longer met and, accordingly, all charges were withdrawn on May 13, 2020.”