Four men to go on trial over assault on QIH director Kevin Lunney
Updated / Monday, 7 Dec 2020 14:26
The Special Criminal Court has ruled that the trial of four men accused of falsely imprisoning and assaulting Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney is to go ahead next month.
The court rejected all four grounds of a defence application that the trial be adjourned.
66-year-old Luke O’Reilly from Mullahoran Lower, Kilcogy, Co Cavan, 25-year-old Darren Redmond from Caledon Road in East Wall in Dublin and 39-year-old Alan O’Brien from Shelmalier Road also in East Wall, and a man who cannot be named for legal reasons, are all charged with false imprisonment and assault causing serious harm to Mr Lunney at Drumbrade, Ballinagh in Co Cavan on 17 September, 2019.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt said today that the consequences of the burning of a van in which DNA was discovered “will be worked out at the trial”.
DNA, he said, is produced in court in many cases, not the place where the DNA was discovered.
One of the accused has complained to the Garda Ombudsman that that the van was deliberately destroyed and that DNA was “planted” on it, but the prosecution says the van caught fire because of an electrical fault.
Mr Justice Hunt pointed out that GSOC was investigating the allegation that the DNA was “planted” and the result of that inquiry will be in the GSOC report.
He also said that there was CCTV which showed the fire taking place and ruled this was not a sufficient basis to postpone the trial.
The application grounds to adjourn the trial because of the volume of material, questions over mobile phone data and because High Court challenges were being brought against the jurisdiction of the Special Criminal Court, were also rejected today.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt also said that following the trial four verdicts would have to be written which would take some time and he expected these would not be delivered until April or May.
The four men are due to go on trial on 11 January next year for assaulting and falsely imprisoning the Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney last year.
The 50-year-old father-of-six was abducted close to his home in Co Fermanagh on the evening of 17 September.
His leg was broken, he was doused in bleach and the letters QIH were carved into his chest during the two-and-a-half hour ordeal before he was dumped on a roadside in Co Cavan.