KEVIN Lunney has said the outpouring of support from the local community following his abduction and assault in 2019 was “one of the most affirming and humbling experiences” of his life.
Mr Lunney paid tribute to the community in his victim impact statement, read to the Special Criminal Court in Dublin on Monday ahead of the sentencing of three men convicted in relation to the horrific incident on September 17, 2019.
In the same statement he said “the physical scars and mental trauma” of that night would stay with him and his family for the rest of their lives.
Paying tribute to his wife, children and immediate family circle, Mr Lunney said, “They have been my rock and my refuge and that is why the anguish that they have had to endure is of greater torment to me than the physical pain of the attack.
“For now, some two years on, I am just thankful that we have found a way to put the immediate terror of that evening out of our focus and get on with our daily routines.
“But I remain conscious that events like this can never be erased and that we will need to find continuing strength and solace in the support and comfort of many good people in the times ahead.
“I hope and pray that we can remain resilient.”
The Mannok director said he was also conscious of the personal toll his abduction had on his work colleagues, “as they seek to rehabilitate and safeguard the business and the jobs within it,” and commended them for their “courage and fortitude.”
“The campaign of intimidation against the business and my colleagues that culminated in my abduction was intensely difficult for those directly targeted and a cause of much apprehension and fear in the wider community,” he said.
“Conversely, one of the most affirming and humbling experiences of my life was the raw emotion and solidarity that came from a march by my co-workers, friends, and the wider community immediately after my abduction.
“I will be forever grateful for that and for the continuing well wishes and prayers of many, many friends and strangers. These are the things that have sustained me.”
Mr Lunney said it had been a long and difficult trial, and thanked the court and everyone involved for their efforts.
He added, however, “Though today is a major and important milestone, for which I am very thankful, I am also mindful that the journey to full accountability is not yet complete.
“I do not know the reason why the defendants decided to do what they did. I don’t know them or they me, and I don’t know whether their absence of any personal agenda diminishes or aggravates what they have done.”
The three men convicted in relation to Mr Lunney’s kidnapping – Alan O’Brien (40) of Shelmalier Road, Dublin, Darren Redmon (27) of Caledon Road, East Wall, Dublin, and a third man who can’t be named for legal reasons – are due to be sentenced on December 20.
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