‘Dublin Jimmy’ has heart at­tack in UK ‘safe house’

Irish Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Ali Bracken Crime Cor­re­spon­dent

THE al­leged master­mind be­hind the ab­duc­tion and tor­ture of Kevin Lun­ney died in a Bri­tish po­lice swoop yes­ter­day.

Cyril McGuin­ness, known as ‘Dublin Jimmy’, had a heart at­tack

when his Der­byshire ‘safe house’ was raided.

Gar­daí si­mul­ta­ne­ously raided the home of a Dublin crim­i­nal McGuin­ness is be­lieved to have hired to in­flict the ‘sadis­tic’ beat­ing on Mr Lun­ney.

These were just two of 18 raids in Coun­ties Ca­van, Long­ford, Dublin, the North and Eng­land yes­ter­day, in an un­prece­dented move against the gang that at­tacked busi­ness­man Mr Lun­ney and who are still in­tim­i­dat­ing ex­ec­u­tives at Quinn In­ter­na­tional

Hold­ings. The Dublin crim­i­nal whose home was raided was hired by McGuin­ness to carry out the tor­ture gar­daí be­lieve, and he is cur­rently out on bail for se­ri­ous crimes in Ire­land and the UK.

He was helped by a gang­land crim­i­nal linked to the Hutch crime gang, whose home was also raided yes­ter­day, sources have re­vealed.

The Dublin duo were ‘paid well’ to abduct and tor­ture Mr Lun­ney, on the or­der of McGuin­ness, well-placed sources have said.

More than 100 of­fi­cers were in­volved, with 12 Garda raids, five by the PSNI and one in Eng­land.

A well-known gang was tar­geted in three searches in Co. Long­ford, in­clud­ing at two yards that op­er­ate as ‘chop shops’ – where stolen cars are pro­cessed – ac­cord­ing to sources.

This gang are be­lieved to have been hired by McGuin­ness to ‘dis­pense with’ at least one car used by the Dublin crim­i­nals in the at­tack on Mr Lun­ney.

While it is un­der­stood that no ev­i­dence was found in any of the cars used dur­ing the at­tack, de­tec­tives did re­cover parts from other stolen ve­hi­cles – up to half a dozen – dur­ing the Garda searches in Long­ford.

In Co. Ca­van, armed de­tec­tives raided the homes and premises of a fa­ther and son sus­pected of pro­vid­ing the bleach used dur­ing the bar­baric tor­ture of Mr Lun­ney on Septem­ber 17.

The pair had been closely linked to McGuin­ness and are well-known to gar­daí.

The Dublin duo were ‘paid well’

They are also un­der­stood to have fam­ily links to the Long­ford gang.

While yes­ter­day’s ‘day of ac­tion’ tar­geted those who were ei­ther di­rectly in­volved or who or­gan­ised the ab­duc­tion, in­ves­ti­ga­tors are also con­cen­trat­ing on those who or­dered the crime, ac­cord­ing to the Garda Com­mis­sioner.

No ar­rests were made yes­ter­day but ev­i­dence in­clud­ing lap­tops, mo­bile phones and doc­u­ments were re­cov­ered.

Sig­nif­i­cant ev­i­dence at the ‘safe house’ in Eng­land where McGuin­ness had been stay­ing is due to be foren­si­cally ex­am­ined.

Com­mis­sioner Drew Har­ris said gar­daí are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a num­ber of facets to the crime, in­clud­ing the mo­ti­va­tion for it.

At a me­dia brief­ing with PSNI As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Mark Hamil­ton the Garda chief said: ‘A series of 12 searches have been un­der­taken again to­day to ad­vance the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of facets of this crime and that in­cludes mo­ti­va­tion, which is a sub­ject of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

‘I would re­it­er­ate these are well-re­sourced in­ves­ti­ga­tions. They are pro­ceed­ing, they are mak­ing progress – at the same time we’ve made a com­mit­ment to the polic­ing of Co. Ca­van and to as­sure the peo­ple of Co. Ca­van that the rule of law will pre­vail. That’s an­other ex­am­ple of this to­day,’ said Com­mis­sioner Har­ris.

A joint Garda-PSNI team was also an­nounced to pro­vide a ‘ro­bust’ in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the QIH at­tacks, which will also re­view pre­vi­ous in­ci­dents, in an effort to take ret­ro­spec­tive ac­tion against those in­volved.

Mr Lun­ney was ab­ducted from his car near his home in Der­rylin, Co. Fer­managh, at around 6.40pm on Septem­ber 17.

He was taken away and as­saulted be­fore be­ing left at the side of the road at Drum­coughill, Cor­nafean, Co. Ca­van, some time be­fore 9pm.

The QIH di­rec­tor had his neck cut with a blade dur­ing the or­deal. He also sus­tained a bro­ken leg.

Mr Lun­ney, told BBC North­ern Ire­land’s Spot­light pro­gramme this week how he was bun­dled into a car boot at knife­point by a gang of three men. He de­scribed in grim de­tail the ap­palling tor­ture he suf­fered dur­ing the at­tack.

He was in the boot of the car when he over­heard one of his cap­tors talk­ing on the phone to some­one and ad­dress­ing that per­son as ‘boss’.

In his graphic ac­count of his or­deal at the hands of these thugs, Mr Lun­ney told how, af­ter a hood was placed over his head and he was led to a horse­box, his cap­tors told him they wanted him to re­sign from QIH. And even though he agreed to do that they went ahead and started to tor­ture him .

‘One of them started with the Stan­ley knife on each of my fingers... he started to run the

Sig­nif­i­cant ev­i­dence at the safe house

Stan­ley knife un­der each nail quite hard and deep so each of them were bleed­ing a bit, deep enough that it was sore and painful,’ Mr Lun­ney told the pro­gramme.

The cap­tors then poured bleach over Mr Lun­ney. ‘That was very, very sore [be­cause of the cuts] then he started with a cloth and started to rub my hands, which were tied, rubbed them and rubbed them, re­ally, re­ally hard, and that was agony with the bleach,’ he said.

‘It was ex­cru­ci­at­ing, the pain of the bleach – I was scream­ing, I think. Then they pulled me up and some­body said, “Have you done his face?” Next thing there was a squirt of bleach in my face, into my

eyes... there was a lot of fumes, I started to cough and al­most passed out,’ he said. At this point, they told him again to re­sign from QIH, and they said the other di­rec­tors should quit too.

‘I said: “I’ll tell them to re­sign”,’ he said.

He added that a num­ber of times his tor­turer told him, ‘We know you, we have been watch­ing you.’

At one stage he told Mr Lun­ney: ‘We have been watch­ing you, we have seen you with your lit­tle daugh­ter with the GAA top and you are go­ing to do what we say.’

The busi­ness­man went on: ‘Then he said, “OK we be­lieve you, but if you don’t we’ll be back, for you and all the fam­ily and ev­ery­body’s fam­ily”.’

Mr Lun­ney said his cap­tors told him they ‘had to rough him up’.

He re­mem­bered one of them say­ing: ‘Hold out your leg,’ be­fore Mr Lun­ney was badly beaten.

‘I think it was a ei­ther a base­ball bat or a short fence post, and I heard [my leg] break­ing and I roared. The pain was aw­ful,’ he ex­plained. The tor­turer then said to an­other gang mem­ber who was hold­ing a torch, ‘Did that snap?’ The other man replied, ‘No’, so the at­tacker im­me­di­ately hit it again. ‘It was a hun­dred times worse the sec­ond time,’ Mr Lun­ney

‘I roared, The pain was aw­ful’

told the BBC pro­gramme.

Over 100 mem­bers of An Garda Síochána are now in­volved in the highly or­gan­ised in­ves­ti­ga­tion team at Ca­van Garda Sta­tion, in­clud­ing col­leagues from the wider Ca­van/Mon­aghan Garda Di­vi­sion, Re­gional Sup­port Units, the Na­tional Sup­port Ser­vice, Dog Units, the Na­tional Bureau of Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Drugs and Or­gan­ised Crime Bureau and the Na­tional Pub­lic Or­der Unit.

As the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues, the gar­daí have made an ap­peal to any­one who may have any in­for­ma­tion, no mat­ter how in­signif­i­cant it ap­pears to be, to con­tact An Garda Síochána at Ca­van Garda Sta­tion on 049 436 8800, at the Garda Con­fi­den­tial Line on 1800 666 111, or at the Crimestop­pers num­ber on 1800 250 025 or at any Garda sta­tion.

The searches are a sig­nif­i­cant step in deal­ing with the cam­paign of vi­o­lence and in­tim­i­da­tion against Quinn In­dus­trial Hold­ings. A QIH state­ment yes­ter­day said: ‘The searches mark an im­por­tant mile­stone in bring­ing those in­volved in at­tacks on QIH staff to jus­tice. We en­cour­age any­one with in­for­ma­tion to make con­tact with the gar­daí or PSNI on a con­fi­den­tial ba­sis.’

Scene of the crime: Gar­daí near Kevin Lun­ney’s home af­ter he was kid­napped and tor­tured in Septem­ber

Ter­ri­ble or­deal: Kevin Lun­ney

Sud­den death: Cyril McGuin­ness, known as ‘Dublin Jimmy’ died af­ter a heart at­tack in a po­lice raid in Der­byshire

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