The High Court has granted bail to two men charged with the alleged assault and false imprisonment of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) Director Kevin Lunney.
Luke O'Reilly (66), from Mullahoran Lower, Kilcogy, Co Cavan and Darren Redmond (25), from Caledon Road, East Wall, Dublin 3 are charged with false imprisonment and assault causing serious harm to Mr Lunney at Drumbrade, Ballinagh, Co Cavan on September 17, 2019.
The two men were served with books of evidence at the Special Criminal Court on March 26 last and it is expected that their trial could potentially begin in January 2021.
Mr Lunney (50), a father of six, was abducted close to his home in Co Fermanagh on the evening of September 17.
The businessman's leg was broken, he was doused in bleach and the letters QIH were carved into his chest during the two-and-a-half hour ordeal before he was dumped on a roadside in Co Cavan.
Mr O'Reilly and Mr Redmond appeared this morning (Tues) via video-link from Portlaoise Prison for the hearing and could each be seen wearing a face mask on the court's large television screens.
Ruling on the application today, Mr Justice Paul Burns said taking all the evidence and submissions together, the prosecution had fallen just short of meeting the standard of proof required for the court to refuse bail. The judge granted bail for both men but stressed that it was subject to stringent conditions.
The State had objected to bail on two grounds, arguing that if granted bail the accused men would interfere with the administration of justice and that they were also "flight risks".
Aoife O'Leary BL, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said there was a strong circumstantial case to be made against both men. "These offences were intimidatory in nature and there is very strong evidence connecting these individuals to these offences," she added.
In reply, Michael Bowman SC for Mr Redmond and Mark Mulholland QC for Mr O'Reilly said that there was no evidential basis to justify their clients being refused bail.
Mr O'Reilly and Mr Redmond were refused bail at Virginia District Court last year and sought to have that decision overturned by bringing an application to the High Court in Cloverhill on December 19 last. However, Mr Justice Robert Eagar refused to grant bail to the two men.
Two other men are facing trial alongside Mr O'Reilly and Mr Redmond. Alan O’Brien (39), of Shelmalier Road, East Wall, Dublin 3 and a fourth man who cannot be named for leagl reasons are both also charged with false imprisonment and assault causing serious harm to Mr Lunney on the same occasion.
Mr O'Reilly and Mr Redmond were granted bail until their trial date, which is expected to last between eight and 12 weeks. The case is in for mention before Special Criminal Court 2 on June 10.