Kevin Lunney drove home from work as normal at around 6.30pm on 17 September 2019. He lives in Derrylin in Co Fermanagh and the office of Quinn Industrial Holdings, now Mannok, is just five to seven minutes away.

However, he realised something was wrong when he turned off the main road into the laneway outside his home. He saw a white van near his front gate. When he stopped, the van reversed into his car at speed, leaving him confused, dazed and injured.

"Before I could do anything, I was pushed back in the seat, I was quite disorientated," he said.

The next thing the then 50-year-old father-of-six saw was two men in dark clothes and balaclavas running towards him. One was carrying two cans of clear liquid and had cable ties flapping around his arm. The engine was still on, the key was in the ignition and the front of the car was crumpled when the men arrived.

They banged on the window but Kevin Lunney managed to lock the car doors and look for his phone. However, as he was fumbling for a number, the driver's side window was smashed in. He found that because of the stress of the situation, he was not able to make a call for help.

Kevin Lunney was attacked on his way home from work

The men started grabbing at Kevin Lunney. They tried to restrain him and get the keys out of the ignition, but he moved between the two front seats and into the back of the car. One of the men got in, removed the headrest and came at the businessman across the driver’s seat so Mr Lunney pushed himself against the back seat and fought back.

"I kicked him in the shoulder and head, and he was briefly pushed back," he said. "I grabbed his balaclava, but it didn’t remove. I saw short light brown or blonde hair and stubble. He retreated to put the mask back on and continued to get at me."

The second man then came in the back passenger door and also fought with him trying to restrain him. The other man took Mr Lunney’s phone by forcing it out of his hands and the two succeeded in dragging him out of the car.

A third man arrived on the scene and the businessman was searched.

"They were all over my body," he said. "They took my wallet and the third man sliced my watch off my arm with a Stanley knife." That man then held a knife to Kevin Lunney’s neck.

"We want to talk to you," he said to him in a Dublin accent. "Get into that." It was then Mr Lunney saw in front of him an Audi car with the boot open. The bonnet of the car was pointing out of the lane.

"We want to talk to you. We’re not going to kill you. We want to talk to you," the man said.

But Kevin Lunney didn’t believe them and continued to fight. He tried to resist but was overpowered and pushed into the boot. The car then accelerated at speed and took a left out of the laneway away from Derrylin and towards the border.

Lunney tried to escape from car boot

Kevin Lunney continued to look for a means of escape as he was being driven at speed along the roads of Fermanagh and into Cavan. He was able to pull the carpet away from the boot’s opening mechanism. He then pulled hard at the metal string but it broke.

In the dark of the boot, he continued to feel around the lock until he found the latch and opened the boot. The car was still driving along at speed, this time with the boot open and the man held captive in the back trying to get out.

Kevin Lunney had caused consternation in the car. He could hear shouting - "He’s opened the f***ing boot." He tried to see where he was but he just couldn’t figure out his location. He began waving at the traffic going in the opposite direction but no other motorist acknowledged his presence. He thinks they didn’t see him.

He then decided to try to get out of the moving car. He put out his left foot on to the road to gauge how fast the car was going and how he could jump out of the boot. However, the sole of his shoe started to rip on the fast moving tarmac and Kevin Lunney knew this escape plan "wouldn’t work". The car was going too fast. His shoe fell off.

The car boot remained open for about 30 seconds when the back seat came down and a man crawled through from inside the car. He grabbed Kevin Lunney’s right foot and held it. He was trapped.

"I couldn’t get out," he said.

The kidnappers stopped the car and came around the back in an angry mood. A Stanley knife was held to Mr Lunney's neck and one of the men told him they weren’t going to kill him, but if he didn’t get back into the boot of the car, they would.

"This man has resisted and we had to hit him"

He was hit hard on the left side of his face with some type of wooden object. Dazed, he was bundled back into the boot, which was then slammed shut.

The man inside the car grabbed his hands and held them so he couldn’t use them. He was very "agitated" and warned Mr Lunney to "stop looking out" the window. He also asked him several times if he had tracking devices or another phone on him and told him if he had, they were going to kill him. Mr Lunney replied that he had not.

He felt "very, very sore" on his face and blood was running from his face to his arm. He was also feeling quite dizzy and uncomfortable and some type of material was put over his head to stop him looking out.

For about 15 minutes, the car appeared to be going over rough roads as Mr Lunney was "thrown about in the boot", but there were also periods when they appeared to be driving through a town or village.

At one point, he saw what he thought was a 'Lakeland Dairies’ sign and later what might have been a pub. At one point, the driver of the car got on the phone and Kevin Lunney could hear some of the conversation. "Boss," he heard him say, "this man has resisted and we had to hit him".

The entire journey seemed to take about 40-50 minutes. When the car stopped, he heard the men complain about what he had done to the car.

"He broke the f***ing boot", one of them said. As a result, it took them a little time to open it.

Mr Lunney was taken out with his head still covered. He couldn’t see clearly, but he noticed he was in a place overgrown with grass and weeds, and he saw white buildings and trees. He was taken to a blue steel container, approximately 2.5 metres wide and 5-6 metres long, which he realised was "a horse box".

"It was quite dirty with animal dung on the floor," he said.

Gardaí investigating the case found a horse box at this location in Cavan

"Do you know why you’re here?" he was asked. "No," he replied. "You’re here because of Quinn Industrial Holdings and you’re going to resign and the other directors are going to resign," he was told.

"The perception was that I had done something to the company," he said.

Three other directors of the company were named and the men repeated their demands to him several times. He agreed to resign and to tell the other three to do the same.

Mr Lunney, the other directors and the company were also involved in court proceedings. There were two defamation cases, one in the North, the other in the Republic and he personally had an interim injunction against another person in Northern Ireland.

"I personally had another injunction in Belfast against another individual," he said. "There was an implication that I had done something wrong and that I had to resign, we had done damage to the business."

The men also made it clear that the court cases were to be terminated.

"And you yourself are going to drop these charges north and south," Mr Lunney was told.

He didn’t respond when first told to resign, but when the demand was repeated more aggressively several times, he realised he had no choice but to say that he would.

"It was clear that I was going to resign or they were going to do something else to me. It wasn't a question. It was: 'You're going to resign’," he recalled. "I said a number of times: ‘Yes I will and I’ll let the others know. Just don’t kill me. I’ll do whatever you want’."

Gang had spied on Lunney family for weeks

One of the men told him they had been watching him and his family for six weeks. They knew his daughter played GAA and that he had been with her at an event in Fermanagh the previous weekend.

His kidnappers were also forensically aware. They talked about DNA and the possibility of being identified so they set about destroying potential evidence. They told him they were just "cleaning" his hands but they scraped and cut his nails with a blade. They went from one finger to the next, in the process, cutting him until his fingers bled.

They also took his glasses and his eye drops from his shirt. They poured the drops on his hands, but got very annoyed because there wasn't enough liquid in it and threw the bottle on the ground.

"That’s no use," one of them said. They decided they needed bleach.

Mr Lunney was made to kneel down and his hands were tied with cable ties. One of the men was left to watch him, while the other two left. His knees began to get sore and he asked the man guarding him if he could stand up.

"I could feel it burning my fingers. I could smell it was bleach."

However, the request for compassion only served to anger the man. Not only did he say "no", he actually tightened his victim's cable ties until they cut into his skin and his hands grew numb.

It was dark when the two other men arrived back and they had to use torches, which they shone in his face. They poured the liquid on his hands.

"I knew it was bleach," he said. "I could feel it burning my fingers. I could smell it was bleach."

Then they decided to forensically cleanse his body. "We’ll have to strip him," one of them said.

They took off his socks and shoes, and cut his trousers off, cutting his legs as they did so. They then cut the cable ties so as to take off his shirt and the rest of his clothes. One of them wanted to strip him naked. "No," another one said, "leave him with his dignity".

They left Mr Lunney in his boxer shorts and poured bleach all over him. They rubbed it on him with a rough rag before giving him the cloth and ordering him to do it himself.

His face remained covered throughout and they squirted the bleach up into his eyes, nose and mouth under the covering. He coughed and spluttered and found it difficult to breathe.

"We will let you go," one of the men said, "but we’ll have to rough you up." "Why?" Mr Lunney asked. "We have to," came the reply.

It was then the torture and mutilation began.

Gang broke Lunney's right leg

Kevin Lunney was ordered to hold out his right leg. He resisted but was told to "hold out your leg or we’ll hit you in the face". He then received "a very hard blow" straight into the middle of the shins, which made him cry out in pain.

"Did it snap?" he heard one of the men say. "Yes it did," Mr Lunney replied but one of the other men said "No".

Kevin Lunney was hit again on the right leg and because of the extreme pain, he immediately knew that this time his leg had been broken. He was then hit repeatedly, again and again, up to 20 times on the right side of his body.

"You’re resigning," the person hitting him said to him in time, every time he struck a blow. The man then shone a light in his face. "We have to mark you," he said.

He then cut Kevin Lunney's face on both sides with a Stanley knife "from ear to chin, right to left".

"You’re resigning," he was told.

"Yes," he replied.

"All those cases," he was warned.

"Yes," he replied.

He subsequently required 26 stitches to his face and a pin in his leg.

"And so you remember why you are here," the man said to him.

"Yes," he replied.

"And you’re resigning," he said to him again.

"Yes," Kevin Lunney replied again.

Letters QIH carved into his chest

But the torture wasn't over yet.

The man then took a blade and carved the letters ‘Q I H’ on to Mr Lunney’s body, from his chest down to his stomach. He repeated each letter as he carved it into his skin and told him he was doing it "so you know why you are here".

The badly injured man was then carried out of the "horse box" and driven away in a van. One kidnapper stayed with him in the back, the two others were in the front. He heard those two talking.

"No, I’ve taken his word for it, he’s going to resign," one of them said.

The men who kidnapped and tortured Kevin Lunney also wanted to make sure they would not have to face the consequences of their cruelty so they warned him not to talk to the gardaí. They specifically told him he was not to say anything to anyone about "a Dublin gang".

"You’re not going to the guards or going to talk to the guards," he was told. "If you do, we’ll be back."

"If we hear that you’re talking to the guards, we’ll kill you."

Gardaí search the scene after Mr Lunney was found on the side of the road in Cavan

Kevin Lunney was driven to a remote location in Co Cavan, pushed out the side door and dumped on the side of a road.

"Keep your head in the ditch," he was warned. "If you look up now or look at this van, we will kill you."

The rag covering his face was removed and the van drove off.

The badly injured man was only wearing boxer shorts. He was shivering violently and in severe pain. His leg was broken, blood was dripping from his face, he had knife wounds, he couldn’t walk, but he knew he had to try to move and try to get help.

He dragged himself along the road on his side, "inch by inch", using only one arm and leg. The men had told him there was a garden nearby, but he couldn’t see one. He tried to wave at two cars at a crossroads up ahead but was so low on the road he wasn’t seen.

"I was getting fearful that I wouldn't get there and nobody would come," he said.

The area went quiet with no other traffic. He saw a light in a house a distance away and tried to drag himself along the road towards it. He stopped a couple of times for short rests before pushing on again.

"I was exhausted. I could sense the blood running down my chest and I was conscious my face was bleeding," he said. "My left arm and left leg were all I could use to push myself along but I decided to push myself towards that window and kept doing that for, I don't know, a number of minutes."

He crawled along the road another 30 or 40 metres when he heard a tractor and saw lights coming towards him. He waved to attract attention and the tractor pulled up alongside him. It was 9pm when Aaron Brady saw Kevin Lunney lying in a ditch with only his boxer shorts on.

"He was cut with blood all over him and you could tell he was talking," Mr Brady said.

The tractor driver turned off the engine and jumped down from the cab. Kevin Lunney told him a number and asked him to call a PSNI officer. When the policeman answered he handed the phone to the wounded man. Aaron Brady then called his own mother who came to help along with another lady Celine Duignan.

Quinn Industrial Holdings in Derrylin

Celine Duignan was on her way to her mother’s house when she saw the tractor and someone on the side of the road. She knew Kevin Lunney because she had worked for Quinn Insurance some years before. She said she knew he was involved in "the Quinn dispute".

She could see he had been badly beaten up. He was able to lift his head and shoulder to talk but there was a lot of blood, cuts over his body and she could tell his leg was broken.

The two women gave Kevin Lunney pyjamas and covered him with coats. Ms Duignan gave him some 7-Up and called the gardaí. The women sat with him until they arrived. He asked one of the gardaí could he phone his wife before he was put into an ambulance and taken to Cavan General Hospital.

He was stabilised there but because of the severity of his injuries and the need for surgery, he was transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

When Kevin Lunney was asked in court if he took the threats seriously, he replied "Yes." His ordeal lasted over after four hours that night. His recovery is continuing.