Republic of Ireland news

Kevin Lunney's attacker said 'so you remember why you're here' as he carved QIH into his chest, court hears

Kevin Lunney a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH).
James Ward, PA

Kevin Lunney’s abductors told him “so you remember why you’re here” as they carved the letters QIH into his chest, he has told the Special Criminal Court.

The 52-year-old Quinn Industrial Holdings executive told the court how he had his legs broken, was disfigured with a knife and doused in bleach in a 45-minute ordeal on September 17 2019.

His captors repeatedly threatened to kill him if he did not resign, along with three other board members, and he was told to drop a number of injunctions and defamation cases he was involved in.

Four men accused of assaulting and falsely imprisoning him pleaded not guilty at a hearing yesterday.

Luke O’Reilly, Darren Redmond, Alan O’Brien and a fourth man who cannot be named for legal reasons deny the charges.

Giving evidence today, Mr Lunney recounted his experience from being abducted outside his family home in Co Fermanagh to being tortured at a premises across the border in Co Cavan.

Arriving at the location, Mr Lunney said he was taken from the boot of a car, had his face covered and was forced into a horsebox.

He told the court one of his three abductors held a knife to his neck and told him: “You know why you’re here. You’re here because of Quinn Industrial Holdings and you’re going to resign.”

Mr Lunney he was told he had destroyed the company, or words to that effect.

“I had done something to the company,” he said.

He was told repeatedly to resign, along with three other named QIH directors.

“It was clear I was going to have to resign or something was going to happen to me. It wasn’t a question,” Mr Lunney said.

He said he told the men he would resign and would speak to the other directors.

One of them told him he would “drop these charges and injunctions north and south”.

Mr Lunney said he was aware the company was involved in two defamation cases, one in Northern Ireland and one in the Republic of Ireland.

He said he also had an injunction against an individual in Belfast.

“The implication was that I had done something wrong in the business and I had to resign. That I had done some damage to the business,” he told the court.

“I said I will resign and I will tell the others, just don’t kill me.”

Mr Lunney said the men cut underneath his fingernails with the knife.

They doused him with bleach in a bid to remove any DNA evidence.

With his hands tied behind his back, they poured bleach over him and used a rough rag to rub his hands with it.

His clothes were cut off and the bleach was poured on his legs and body.

“I was coughing, spluttering. I found it very irritating, it was difficult to breathe,” he said.

He said he was struck with a blunt object around 10 or 20 times, and each time he was told: “You’re going to resign.”

He was slashed repeatedly across the face, and later needed 26 stitches, he said.

The last act, he said, was when one of his abductors grabbed him and said “so you remember why you’re here” then scored “QIH” into his chest.

“He said the letters QIH as he did it,” Mr Lunney added.

The trial continues.

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