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'Don't kill me' Kevin Lunney tells court he pleaded for his life during terrifying kidnap and torture

Mr Lunney (52) took the stand today as the first witness in the non-jury Special Criminal Court trial of four men charged over his abduction and torture in 2019.

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Kevin Lunney (Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA)

Kevin Lunney (Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA)

Kevin Lunney (Quinn Industrial Holdings/PA)

BUSINESSMAN Kevin Lunney has told a court how he pleaded for his life when a gang of masked men abducted and assaulted him, saying to his captors: "I will do whatever you want, just don't kill me."

The Quinn Industrial Holdings executive gave evidence that one of his attackers scored "QIH" onto his chest with a Stanley knife during a two-and-a-half ordeal and told him it was "so that you will remember why you are here."

Mr Lunney (52) took the stand today as the first witness in the non-jury Special Criminal Court trial of four men charged over his abduction and torture in 2019.

The father-of-six was bundled into a car outside his Co Fermanagh home and taken to a container where his captors broke his leg, slashed his face, carved his chest with a Stanley knife and doused his wounds in bleach before dumping him on a roadside in Co Cavan.

During the attack, he was threatened he would be killed if he did not resign as a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings, the court has heard.

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Quinn Industrial Holdings offices in Derrylin in County Fermanagh (Liam McBurney/PA)

Quinn Industrial Holdings offices in Derrylin in County Fermanagh (Liam McBurney/PA)

Quinn Industrial Holdings offices in Derrylin in County Fermanagh (Liam McBurney/PA)

Luke O’Reilly (67), from Mullahoran Lower, Kilcogy, Co Cavan, Darren Redmond (27), of Caledon Road, East Wall, Dublin 3 and Alan O’Brien (40) of Shelmalier Road, East Wall, Dublin 1, all deny false imprisonment and causing serious harm to Mr Lunney at Drumbrade, Ballinagh, Co Cavan, on September 17th, 2019.

Another man, ‘YZ’ (40), who cannot be named for legal reasons, has also pleaded not guilty to the same offences.

Today, Mr Lunney, dressed in a dark suit light blue shirt and grey-patterned tie, made his way from the body of the court to the witness box and was sworn in to begin his evidence before the three judges.

He said he lived five to 10 minutes from work at Derrylin, Co Fermanagh and returned after 6.30pm in his Landcruiser.

He was driving up the laneway leading to his house when he noticed a large white vehicle he did not recognise.

It was unusual for a strange vehicle to be in the lane and he stopped. The car in front immediately started to reverse at speed and before he could do anything it smashed into the front of his Landcruiser.

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His vehicle was pushed backwards and he was "quite disorientated." Two men got out of the car, one on either side, both wearing balaclavas and dressed in black or dark clothing.

The driver was "running fast towards my vehicle carrying what I thought was two cans of liquid," he said.

This looked like milk cartons containing a clear liquid and the man had "cable ties flapping around loosely" in his arms. One of the men was "similarly built to myself," maybe slightly taller, and the other was slightly slimmer, he said.

They came to the window, banged on it and he managed to lock the door, but the driver's side window was smashed in. He tried to get his phone to call for help but was unable to do so.

The window on the driver's side was smashed in from the outside before they struggled and he was seized and driven away to a container, where he was attacked and told to resign.

"It was clear I was going to resign or they were going to do something else to me," he said. "It wasn't a question, it was: you are going to resign."

He was also told three other named directors would resign too.

The second time it was said to him, he replied: "yes, yes" and that he would tell the others.

"There was an implication that I had done something wrong in the business, that I had to resign, that we had done some damage to the business,"

"I said a number of times, yes I will, and I will tell the others, just don't kill me," he said. "I was saying look, don't kill me, I will do whatever you want."

The trial, before Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge David McHugh, is expected to last 12 weeks.

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