Facebook has confirmed that it did not take down posts that appeared to threaten senior staff at Quinn Industrial Holdings prior to the kidnapping of an executive of the company, Kevin Lunney.

The 50-year-old father-of-six was attacked by armed and masked men and abducted outside his home in Derrylin in Co Fermanagh last month as he arrived home from work.

He was driven across the border in the boot of a car and held against his will for almost three hours during which he was brutally beaten and slashed.

One particular post on the social media site was reviewed but found not to have violated the company's community standards, the Oireachtas Justice Committee has heard.

Head of Public Policy at Facebook Ireland, Dualta O'Broin, said the company should have acted differently:  "Having looked back on the post what we should have done is taken the wider context into account when the post was initially reviewed, that did not happen.

"It was found not to be violating our community standards, we should have taken the wider context into account," he said.

He was responding to the Committee chairman, Sinn Fein's Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, who said: "Those Facebook pages, certainly one, referenced by name senior executives of QIH and allegations were made against them.

"Other posts included mock up posters calling individuals traitors and warning of consequences. This was creating a public sense, to misrepresent to label these executives."

He said there were numerous requests to remove it and this did not happen until the day after Mr Lunney was attacked: "I have to say that was action after the event, much too late.

"The material was offensive. It was intended to harm the good name and reputation of the people involved, and it fed into, in my opinion, certainly as a Dáil Deputy representing the constituency of Cavan/Monaghan, a view that in some way these people, the named parties and the businesses that they were involved in, in some way, are a legitimate target for the worst excesses of what I can only describe as the most ill-informed people on this island," Mr Ó Caoláin said.