Cyril McGuinness, who allegedly organised the abduction of businessman Kevin Lunney, was "like a crazy bastard" and "not a good yoke", one of the men accused of the abduction told gardai. Luke O'Reilly also told gardai that he was "actually shocked" to discover that Mr Lunney had been held in a trailer on his land.
The Special Criminal Court trial of four men accused of Mr Lunney's abduction and assault today (Wednesday, July 21) heard that Luke O'Reilly (67) was interviewed by gardai over several days after being arrested in November 2019.
He told gardai the only reason he was speaking to McGuinness by phone around the time of the abduction was to talk about a vehicle that McGuinness was transporting for him to Cavan.
He said McGuinness, who he knew as Dublin Jimmy, had imported vehicles and parts for him in the past but he "didn't want to be with him. He's not good news, is he?" He added: "It's the way he is and he's not a good yoke."
Mr O'Reilly also said that he feels bad about what happened to Mr Lunney and, "wouldn't want it to happen to nobody."
A 40-year-old man known as YZ, Alan O’Brien (40), of Shelmalier Road, East Wall, Dublin 3, Darren Redmond (27), from Caledon Road, East Wall, Dublin 3 and Luke O’Reilly (67), with an address at Mullahoran Lower, Kilcogy, Co Cavan have all pleaded not (NOT) guilty to false imprisonment and intentionally causing serious harm to Mr Lunney at Drumbrade, Ballinagh, Co Cavan on September 17, 2019.
Mr Lunney, a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings has told the court that he was bundled into the boot of a car near his home and driven to a container where he was threatened and told to resign from QIH.
His abductors then cut him with a Stanley knife, stripped him to his boxer shorts, doused him in bleach, broke his leg with two blows of a wooden bat, beat him on the ground, cut his face and scored the letters QIH into his chest.
They then left him bloodied, beaten and shivering on a country road at Drumcoghill in Co Cavan where he was discovered by a man driving a tractor.
Detective Garda Sean O'Brien said he interviewed Mr O'Reilly at Monaghan Garda Station on 24 November, 2019, three days into the accused's detention.
The detective agreed with prosecution counsel Garret Baker BL that Mr O'Reilly said he did not recognise a Renault Kangoo van that the prosecution alleges was used by the other three accused to travel to and from Cavan on the day of the abduction.
He said he had never seen the van in his yard at Drumbrade, where the prosecution allege Mr Lunney was held by his captors. He added that anybody could access the yard without him knowing as the gate is never locked.
He said he had known Dublin Jimmy for more than 15 years. "He would be in my yard at least once a month," he said. "He would drive in like a big crazy bastard with his husky dog."
Mr O'Reilly said McGuinness was bringing a Mitsubishi car into Ireland for him around the time of Mr Lunney's abduction. That week, he said, McGuinness called him to tell him where the Mitsubishi was and he met with McGuinness on the Friday, three days after Mr Lunney's abduction and after gardai had searched Mr O'Reilly's home, to give him e450. He met McGuinness at another yard owned by Mr O'Reilly.
Gardai asked if Mr O'Reilly didn't want to be seen with McGuinness. He replied: "I didn't want to be with him, he's not good news, is he?" Gardai asked what had changed after years of dealing with McGuinness. "Was it the shit he landed you in?"
He replied: "He landed me in no shit. It's the way he is and he's not a good yoke." He said he used McGuinness because he could get parts from the UK that were difficult to get in Ireland.
In an interview the following morning Mr O'Reilly spoke about the trailers at his yard at Drumbrade. The blue horse box, he said, he bought from a Tyrone man about four or five years earlier.
He said he had no suspicions when he met McGuinness on the Friday that Mr Lunney had been held in the horse box at Drumbrade and the first he knew of Mr Lunney's abduction was what he read in the papers. He said: "I didn't know what to think. I was shocked."
He said he had no idea why Mr Lunney would have been kept in a horse trailer on his land but agreed that it's a remote area. "If you drive by you wouldn't see it unless you knew about it," he said.
"What do you think, knowing Kevin Lunney was there?" his interviewer asked. Mr O'Reilly replied: "I feel bad about it. I wouldn't want it to happen to nobody. I was actually shocked."
The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge David McHugh.
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