Northern Ireland

Kevin Lunney abduction: Messages of support after broadcast

Kevin Lunney
Image caption Kevin Lunney is a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings

A businessman from County Fermanagh who was abducted and badly beaten has received messages of support after speaking about his ordeal.

Kevin Lunney, a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH), appeared on Tuesday's BBC Spotlight NI.

He recounted how he was abducted and had the letters QIH cut into his chest with a Stanley knife.

David Bolton, a friend of Mr Lunney and an expert on trauma, said support had come from the "wider community".

Businessman Lunney tells of torture by gang

He said Mr Lunney had "released a lot of positive support" by speaking out.

"I think one of the things which seems to support us after these events is recognition and acknowledgement of what we've been through," said Mr Bolton.

"Of course it is difficult sometimes to be able to talk about these things.

"You may not be able to speak for a while, it may take some time, but when that time comes it can be very helpful."

'Strong-minded'

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Lunney's brother Tony said it had been "emotional" watching the interview.

Image copyright BBC Spotlight
Image caption A business belonging to Tony Lunney was burnt out in August 2018

He had heard most of the details before but some of it had come as a surprise, Tony Lunney said.

"He's not a big man but always very strong-minded," he told BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme.

"When I say strong, he just perseveres with things, he doesn't give up.

"I think that kept him alive."

'Tears shed'

Tony Lunney, who is also a director with QIH, took part in Tuesday's programme and said he had also experienced intimidation.

A business belonging to him was burnt out in October 2018.

He said he had attended a meeting with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris on Tuesday and believed Irish police were "very well briefed".

"There has to be action to apprehend these people," he said.

"When all the threads are brought together, there is a hell of a lot of information there."

The chief executive of Quinn Industrial Holdings, Liam McCaffrey, told Irish broadcaster RTÉ it was "horrific" to watch his colleague describe details of his abduction and torture.

While aware of some of the details of the attack, he said the programme brought back "all the horror in one fell swoop", adding "there were tears shed in our house last night".

Image caption Posters like this are part of a campaign to intimidate Kevin Lunney and other directors, a court heard in March

In the past week, signs near the headquarters of QIH in Derrylin, County Fermanagh, attacking the directors have been removed and the Police Service of Northern Ireland has increased patrols and checkpoints in the area.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin called for a cross-border body made up of multiple agencies to prevent attacks on QIH directors.

Mr Martin said such a group would deal with "exceptional criminals", adding ordinary policing would not stop the problem and calling for a "no holds barred response".

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