Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.54 13 Nov 2019


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Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has rejected suggestions that gardaí in border areas 'did nothing' regarding the intimidation campaign against Quinn Industrial Holdings executives.

He was speaking to Pat Kenny in the wake of the criticisms of the police response to years of intimidation before the attack on company director Kevin Lunney.

Mr Lunney was kidnapped and assaulted by a group of men in September.

In the wake of the attack, his fellow director John McCartin has claimed authorities had been "afraid" to defend the staff of QIH - and that the border region was becoming "ungovernable".

Speaking today, Minister Flanagan today insisted there had been investigations before the attack on Mr Lunney.

He said: "My understanding from Quinn directors was that they were satisfied that every effort is being made.

"I don't accept that the gardaí did nothing - I accept that ultimately there hasn't been a successful conviction."

However, he added: "There are pretty substantial files and records available... evidence has been gathered... arrests were made... files were with and are currently with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

"I reject any assertion from anybody that the gardaí have been turning a blind eye or that the gardaí are doing nothing."

He insisted that "no stone is being left unturned by both the gardaí and the PSNI", with a joint investigation having been announced last week.

The Justice Minister argued there is an "acute challenge" in border areas - but said it was not "reasonable or fair" to dismiss the role of newly-qualified gardaí who will be sent to the area to bulk up the police presence.

He stressed: "I can assure listeners that the rule of law is being maintained in the border areas - as much in Bultersbridge as in Ballsbridge."

Main image: File photo of Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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