Hundreds of people walked in Derrylin this afternoon in a show of solidarity to Fermanagh businessman Kevin Lunney who was abducted, assaulted and left for dead following a savage attack on Tuesday night.

The 50-year-old suffered severe injuries was rammed off the road as he approached his home in Kinawley. After being dragged into the boot of a car he was taken to an unknown location and beaten; his fingernails were pulled out, his face and neck were slashed with a Stanley knife and his right leg was broken twice below the knee in an attack by four masked men.

 More than two hours later he was dumped at the side of the road at Drumcoughill, Cornafean, County Cavan where he was discovered by local residents just before 9pm.

As he lay recovering in hospital today having had steel plates inserted into his leg, many of his colleagues at Quinn Industrial Holdings where he serves as chief operating officer, joined with politicians from either side of the Border in a public display of unity.

Standing beside Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster was Chief Executive Liam McCaffrey who was visibly emotional when a statement was read out on behalf of QIH staff by Stephen Woods, the chief executive of Manufacturing Northern Ireland.

He told the crowd of more than 400 workers from the nearby factories that Tuesday night’s attack was a “horrendous and premeditated attack”.

“We, the staff, want to express our unequivocal support for Kevin and his family and wish him a full and speedy recovery from the horrific injuries that have been inflicted on him.

“This attack was not only an attack on Kevin, but on the entire staff and community,” he said.

In the past number of years there have been more than 70 incidents of intimidation, harassment and assaults but not one arrest by the Police Service of Northern Ireland or An Garda Siochana.

“This attack is the latest in a campaign of intimidation against the directors and senior management of QIH,” said Mr. Woods. 

“As a staff group, we utterly condemn this and all previous physical assaults, arson attacks and intimidation on members of staff. The people who are perpetrating these acts do not represent us, or our views, and we plead with them to stop this campaign with immediate effect.

“We ask those in our local communities to come together in solidarity to support Kevin and the Lunney family, and we also plead with them to give whatever support and assistance is required to assist in bringing these perpetrators to justice,” he said. 

On behalf of staff, Mr. Woods said they were demanding “an end to this reign of terror, to all intimidation and attacks on management and their properties”.

“We call on local politicians, the PSNI and the Gardai to allocate whatever resources are necessary to bring these perpetrators to justice and to bring an end to these brutal attacks so we can feel safe in our place of work and in our local communities,” he said.

Speaking to reporters Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster said there was “outrage” across the community following the attack and said nobody wantedto see a return to the violence of the 70s and 80s. 

“We don’t want fear to take a grip of this community,” she said.“I very much want someone brought to justice for this and indeed the other incidents as well. I hope these people are taken off the streets.”

Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew and Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton were also in attendance as was Cavan-Monaghan TD Brendan Smith. 

QIH director John McCartin said there was a “united community and workforce” in attendance and spoke of the pain and torment how faced by his friend.

“What they did to Kevin, well, it would have been easier to kill him. No doubt about it, the message is that is someone that could go all the way.

“And the message here today is you don’t speak for me, this is not the community, this is one or two crackpots being led by someone with sinister intent,” he said. 

Father Gerry Comiskey, who knows the Lunney family, spoke of his shock and horror from seeing the father of six following the attack. 

“His physical injuries have caused much pain, he is emotionally distraught. He is a man of great integrity but he is hurting. It is indescribable the anguish his wife and children are feeling. 

“I had to go for a walk to recover from the ordeal of seeing him and hearing what he suffered,” he said.

A few miles away An Garda Síochána were carrying out a number of searches in the Cavan area. 

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said his officers were “outraged at this savage and horrific attack on a businessman going about his normal business”.

“An Garda Síochána will make every effort to bring these violent criminals to justice, but we need the support of the local community in order to do so,” he said. 

Mr. Twomey said it had committed significant local resources to an “incredibly serious investigation” and will continue to do so into the future, fully supported by national units, in order to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion.