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Kevin Lunney's sadistic attackers must be apprehended

As further details emerge of the horrific ordeal endured by businessman Kevin Lunney, pressure is growing on the police on both sides of the border to bring those responsible for this savage crime to justice.

The precise reason why the father of six was abducted, beaten, stabbed and tortured before being dumped in a ditch is not known but there seems little doubt it relates to his role in Quinn Industrial Holdings in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, where he works as chief operating officer.

Tuesday's shockingly brutal attack on Mr Lunney, who has been left with life-changing injuries, was the latest and most serious in a long line of incidents in recent years.

Earlier this year, Mr Lunney was assaulted and his nose broken in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan while in another attack, boiling water was thrown over the company's chief financial officer at a petrol station.

There have been many more instances of arson, threats and intimidation targeting senior staff, which is absolutely intolerable.

This latest assault has been widely condemned by politicians and business organisations.

Condemnation has also come from Sean Quinn, who once owned Quinn Industrial Holdings. He said some people would blame his family for what he termed a 'barbaric attack' but strongly denied any involvement.

What takes this dark and disturbing saga into even more sinister territory is the suggestion that dissident republicans may have some connection to Mr Lunney's traumatic ordeal.

Certainly, the kidnap operation, which coincided with a board of directors conference, must have involved careful planning while the sadistic violence used and the attempts to erase forensic evidence suggests a cold-blooded ruthlessness normally associated with paramilitaries and gangland-style criminals.

After the attack on his colleague, company chairman Adrian Barden said: ''We find it inexplicable that not a single arrest has been made north or south despite dozens of incidents.''

His frustration is all too plain and perfectly understandable given the escalation in attacks and the very real fear that someone could lose their life as a result of this despicable campaign.

A highly coordinated cross-border policing approach is required to apprehend those who planned, directed and carried out this appalling crime.

The men who are responsible for Kevin Lunney's horrendous injuries are extremely dangerous and need to be apprehended as a matter of urgency.

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