Kevin Lunney abduction case: Special court judge delivers verdict

·2-min read
Four men were charged with falsely imprisoning and assaulting Kevin Lunney (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Archive)
Four men were charged with falsely imprisoning and assaulting Kevin Lunney (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Archive)

The Special Criminal Court has begun delivering its verdict in the trial of four men accused of assaulting and falsely imprisoning business executive Kevin Lunney.

Mr Lunney, an executive at Quinn Industrial Holdings, was kidnapped close to his home in Co Fermanagh on the evening of September 17 2019.

The businessman had his leg broken, was doused in bleach and the letters QIH were carved into his chest before he was dumped on a roadside in Co Cavan.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, who is delivering the verdicts, indicated it could take most of the day to read out the judgment.

Businessman Kevin Lunney was kidnapped and tortured (BBC/PA) (PA Media)
Businessman Kevin Lunney was kidnapped and tortured (BBC/PA) (PA Media)

Mr Justice Hunt is presiding over the the three-judge court.

The four defendants who went on trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court in Dublin all deny charges of abducting and assaulting Mr Lunney.

They are Luke O’Reilly, 68, from Kilcogy, Co Cavan; Darren Redmond, 27, and Alan O’Brien, 40, both of whom have addresses in East Wall in Dublin; and a fourth man, 40, who cannot be named for legal reasons and was referred to in court as “YZ”.

The trial ran for 40 days in the summer.

The trial heard that Mr Lunney was bundled into the boot of a car close to his home in Co Fermanagh and driven across the border.

He was taken to a farm site and put in a horsebox where he was tied up and beaten, had his leg broken and covered in bleach and had the letters QIH carved into his chest with a Stanley knife.

Mr Lunney’s attackers demanded that he resign as a director of QIH.

Mr Justice Hunt said the court was satisfied that Mr Lunney was falsely imprisoned and assaulted and accepted his evidence.

Defendant Luke O’Reilly arrives at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)
Defendant Luke O’Reilly arrives at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Justice Hunt described Mr Lunney as a “most impressive witness” and said the court accepted his evidence.

He also told the court that he had an “uncanny ability” to estimate the passage of time, even though his attackers had removed his watch.

He added that Mr Lunney’s description of the yard where he was taken was borne out in the investigation.

Mr Lunney is attending the court to hear the judgment.

The three judges who presided in the case had been expected to give their verdict last month but it was delayed until Monday.

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