THE abduction and attack on Kevin Lunney in 2019 “insulated” all of the Mannok directors from “unfavourable comment”.

This is the claim made by Seán Quinn in his autobiography – “In My Own Words” – which arrived in Fermanagh’s bookshops yesterday afternoon.

“I do not suggest that any of Kevin’s fellow directors were involved in his abduction, but it is certainly true that the incident insulated all of the directors from unfavourable comment – they were the darlings of the media, and boy did they milk it!” writes Mr. Quinn.

Mr. Lunney was on his way home from work when he was dragged from his car, put in the boot of a black Audi and taken across the border where he was badly beaten and had “QIH” carved on his chest.

He was then dumped on the side of the road and left for dead.

Mr. Quinn writes that the first time he heard of the abduction was when he was contacted by local radio presenter Joe Finnegan about it.

“I also remember telling Joe that I would be blamed, just as I had been blamed for everything that was happening in the area up to that point,” he writes.

Whilst there were immediate connections made between Mr. Quinn and the incident, he believes that Mr. Lunney and the directors know he had no connection to the abduction.

“I believe that the Gardaí, Kevin Lunney, and all of the other directors are well aware that I had no hand, act, or part in Kevin’s abduction, and in fact, I was never interviewed by the Gardaí regarding it.”

Mr. Quinn goes on to write about the consequences of the attack on him and his family, in particular when a local parish priest spoke from the pulpit of a “Mafia-style campaign” that had “shrouded the community in fear”.

Fr. Oliver O’Reilly, who was then the Parish Priest of Ballyconnell, also said an unnamed paymaster was behind it all.

Mr. Quinn said he called Fr. O’Reilly and told him he was wrong and his words would have “devastating consequences” for the Quinn family.

He claims there has been no clarity from Fr. O’Reilly on his comments – Mr. Quinn said he was “disappointed, but not surprised” that Fr. O’Reilly allowed the matter to continue indefinitely despite no evidence linking Mr. Quinn to Mr. Lunney’s abduction.

Mr. Quinn also distances himself from Cyril ‘Dublin Jimmy’ McGuinness who was also linked to the abduction saying he only knew him by “reputation and by sight”.

‘Dublin Jimmy’ died in November 2019 during a police raid on a house in Buxton, Derbyshire.

Published by Red Stripe, Mr. Quinn’s book is set to be a best-seller.

In the early years of the 21st century, Seán Quinn was considered to be Ireland’s richest man, with a Midas touch: everything he touched seemed to turn to gold.

His company owned Ireland’s only glass producers, and one of its biggest insurance companies.

The Quinn Group owned pubs, hotels, office complexes and shopping centres across Ireland, Europe and Asia. But between 2007 and 2013, the Quinn Group became one of Ireland’s biggest-ever business failures. He then became Ireland’s biggest-ever bankrupt, and in the winter of 2012 to 2013, he ended up in jail for nine weeks, having been found in contempt of court.

The Quinn businesses had invested heavily in “contracts for difference” (CFDs) in Anglo Irish Bank, a blue-chip company. The failure of the Irish banking system in 2008 eventually led to Mr. Quinn’s losses of €3 billion, and to the demise of his business empire, devastating him, his family, and his local community.

According to Red Stripe, “many people have already sought to tell the Seán Quinn story, but now, for the first time, Quinn details his side of the story, correcting some of the falsehoods that have been propagated over the past decade or more”.