Trio jailed for kidnapping and torturing Kevin Lunney

·3-min read

Three men found guilty of the kidnap and assault of businessman Kevin Lunney have been jailed at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

Mr Lunney, 51, was kidnapped close to his home in Co Fermanagh on the evening of September 17 2019.

One of the men, who cannot be named for legal reasons and was referred to in court as “YZ”, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after he inflicted the most serious injuries against Mr Lunney.

Alan O’Brien, 40, of Shelmalier Road in East Wall, Dublin, was jailed for 25 years.

Darren Redmond, 27, from Caledon Road, also in East Wall, was sentenced to 18 years, with the final three years suspended.

Kevin Lunney interview
Kevin Lunney was kidnapped and viciously tortured (BBC/PA)

Mr Lunney, a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings, 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.

During the abduction ordeal, his attackers repeatedly demanded that he resign as a director of the company.

Sentencing the three men, Justice Tony Hunt said that serious harm was inflicted on the father-of-six during a “vicious assault”.

The judge added that Mr Lunney was permanently injured in an “exceptionally specific way”.

Justice Hunt described YZ as the “ringleader” of the group and said he targeted the businessman in a “deliberate, sinister and intimidating” manner.

The court was told that YZ was the driver of the car used to transport Mr Lunney from his home to the yard where he was attacked.

He then used a Stanley knife to inflict the most serious injuries on the victim.

The attack was organised and supervised by Cyril McGuinness, a convicted criminal known as Dublin Jimmy, who died in November 2019.

Justice Hunt said the attack was carried out to “terrorise and intimidate others” not to the “taste of McGuinness”.

Justice Hunt said YZ had a close business and personal relationship with McGuinness.

The judge said O’Brien was closely associated with YZ and had taken part in a “dry run” the day before the attack.

O’Brien assisted YZ in inflicting the most serious injuries on Mr Lunney.

The judge said Mr Lunney was assaulted, threatened and taken to an isolated location, where he was tortured by his abductors.

He said the purpose of the “callous and vicious assault” was to terrorise the businessman and others to prevent them from going about their lawful business.

He said there was evidence of the deliberate and chilling surveillance of Mr Lunney and his family, including his daughter, which he said was “particularly disturbing”.

The judge said the kidnap was “carefully and meticulously planned” and that it involved “calculated savagery”.

It was “a premeditated brutality inflicted on a decent man to serve ends of organised criminals”, he added.

Kevin Lunney abduction
The offices of Quinn Industrial Holdings in Derrylin, County Fermanagh (Liam McBurney/PA)

Justice Hunt said there was a callous and flagrant disregard for Mr Lunney’s civil liberties.

Extreme violence was used during the attack and Mr Lunney was stripped of almost all of his clothes.

Justice Hunt said Mr Lunney was dumped at the side of road on a chilly September night and “left for dead”.

“No doubt Mr Lunney believed his life was in danger. He could have died from his injuries, hypothermia or been struck by a vehicle,” he added.

The judge praised Mr Lunney for his “measured and careful” victim impact statement.

He said the businessman displayed “remarkable courage and resilience”, and would no doubt carry emotional baggage as a result of the attack.

Justice Hunt said he had not imposed a life sentence on any of the three men as the most severe penalties should be reserved for those who organised or financed such crimes.

He said that any lower sentence would act as an incentive rather than a deterrent to such offences and that they fell into the exceptionally serious category and involved a level of permanent harm.

The court heard that the three men were “prepared to do the very dirty” work on behalf of others.

Mr Lunney was not present in court on Monday.

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