ONE of the defendants in the Kevin Lunney kidnapping case had “important” telephone contact a month earlier with a man suspected of organizing the businessman’s kidnapping, he said. we affirmed.
The Special Criminal Court heard a phone attributed to Luke O’Reilly, owner of the land where Mr Lunney was allegedly imprisoned, had earlier been in repeated contact with a phone attributed to now-deceased suspect Cyril McGuinness.
There were also two calls between the two numbers on the evening of the kidnapping.
Evidence from the telephone recording, which had been legally challenged by the defense but found admissible by the court, was presented today at the trial without a jury.
Mr Lunney (52), a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings, was taken in a car outside his home in Co Fermanagh and taken to a container where his captors broke his leg with a wooden bat, slashed her face with a Stanley knife and sprayed bleach on her wounds while ordering her to resign from the company.
They etched “QIH” into his chest with the knife before throwing him, stripped of his underpants, at the side of a road in Drumcoghill, County Cavan.
Darren Redmond (27), of Caledon Road, Alan O’Brien (40) of Shemalier Road, both in East Wall, Dublin, and a male “YZ” (40), who cannot be legally named, would all have been directly involved in the attack.
Luke O’Reilly (67), of Mullahoran Lower, Kilcogy, Co Cavan is accused of providing “material assistance in the planning and execution of offenses”.
They all face the same charges of forcible confinement and causing serious harm to Mr Lunney at Drumbrade, Ballinagh, Co Cavan on September 17, 2019, which they deny.
Today, Edel Hannigan, senior intelligence analyst for the Guardian, told prosecutor Sean Guerin SC in late September 2019 that he was asked to provide analytical assistance in connection with the investigation into Mr. Lunney.
She received call data records for several phone numbers, as well as information regarding the two toll trips as of August 19, 2019, a document showing the GPS coordinates and the locations and times of the relevant CCTV footage. .
Ms. Hannigan agreed with Mr. Guerin that some documents, in addition to identifying the phone numbers, assigned names to the numbers. It was on the basis of information provided by the guard.
“It is entirely up to the court whether or not to accept the assignment of numbers to particular individuals,” Guerin told the three judges.
He then showed Ms Hannigan the tables she had prepared, which referred to numbers, including those attributed to the accused men and Cyril McGuinness.
The court previously heard that the prosecution alleged the offenses were committed under the direction of McGuinness, also known as “Dublin Jimmy”, who has since died in a police raid in the UK.
Among the tables of telephone records presented to the court was a list of contacts between a number ending in -2200 assigned to McGuinness and a number ending in -1567 assigned to Mr. Redmond.
The court heard that there were four connections between them and they were all on September 12, 2019. These started with calls from the -2200 number which went to the message, followed by a text message, then a call from number -2200, which connected.
The following table showed links between the McGuinness number and a number ending in -6640, attributed to Mr. O’Reilly.
These covered the period from August 1, 2019 to September 23, 2019. The first contact took place on August 1 and then on August 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, “in-depth contact” on August 14, 15, 21, Aug 23 and 28, said Guerin.
These were relatively short phone calls, some lasting about two minutes and the longest five minutes.
The following month, there was inbound contact to the number assigned to Mr. O’Reilly from the McGuinness number on September 3-4. There was two-way contact on September 5, 6 and 9 and from number -2200 to number 6640 on September 10.
There was two-way contact on September 13 and from the number assigned to Mr. O’Reilly to the McGuinness number the next day.
On September 16, the day before the kidnapping, there was a 163-second outgoing call from the McGuinness number to the one assigned to Mr. O’Reilly at 9:59 p.m.
There were two contacts between the numbers on the day of the kidnapping, September 17.
The first, lasting 246 seconds, took place at 7:30 p.m. – an outgoing call from -6640 to -2200.
This was followed at 7:54 p.m. by a call from the McGuinness number to the one assigned to Mr. O’Reilly, lasting 43 seconds.
There were two contacts the next day – from number -2200 to number -6640 just after 9:20 am, lasting 136 seconds.
There was another call in the same direction this afternoon just before 3:30 p.m., lasting just under two minutes.
Ms Hannigan’s testimony will continue tomorrow before Judge Tony Hunt, Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge David McHugh.