It hardly inspires confidence that the h kn for speaking out agnst this intimidation is forced to take measures for his own protection.

Fr O’Reilly delive a ring homily last month calling out the -like “paymaster or paymasters” who funded the sav attack on Mr Lunney. In an inter with the day Independent, he sd: “The more speak, the more are at risk.”

For , he plans to back from the robt commentary he has become kn for, in the hope of fostering peace. “I want to get back to my normal h … I find that in the last month, a whole lot of have hened. I want to take a back t for a while. But if t is further intimidation, I intend to return to the fray.”

A second death threat to the s of Quinn Hings (QIH) last week – founded and lost by the former billionre n Quinn – has caulted the - campgn of intimidation and violence into the lap of Government.

The threat was issued via the Irish s last Monday by a man in a balaclava from a statement purporting to be a “last warning” to s to resign or face a “permanent solution”. The s “hadn’t learned their lesson” since the attack on Mr Lunney, the man sd, chillingly noting that they could have “easily killed” him if they had wanted to.

In the same week, Sinn Fein TD Martin Kenny’s was set alight out his in Leitrim, the Garda station in Emyvale, Co Monaghan was set ablaze and two Monaghan hauliers were named as persons of interest in the into the deaths of 39 Vietnamese smuggled into the .

Garda Harris and the for Jtice, Flanagan, have struggled to epln why the years- intimidation has not been stopped.

The day Independent has learnt that Taoich privately rang John Mctin, one of five s of QIH under threat, twice last week saying he was “alled” at the intimidation. That the Taoich should open a direct line of with the victims of this campgn indicates that the has dropped.

For eight years, the s of QIH and its property have been under siege. The es were once owned by n Quinn, the local former billionre who lost control of his in 2011. He has repeatedly denounced the attacks on the , saying they are not ried out in his name. According to Mr Mctin, the ure of authorities to – from Cavan County Council not taking down signs to gard not making arrests – has “embened” those responsible and allowed for an escalation of violence and the creeping involvement of paramilitaries.

A graph in the Irish s of the masked man bearing the latest death threat prompted a number of calls to the confidential lines from local clming to recognise him, sources sd. They spect he is a disnt , originally from Northern but living in Cavan, who has served jl for possession of eplosives. He was once prominent in the Real . A of QIH has also reported this man’s spected identity to the PSNI and gard.

The abduction and on Lunney bore the hallmarks of a paramilitary- operation. He was kipped, tortu and had his legs broken in an attack resembling a ishment beating. The e that his attackers took to destroy a forensic trl, vicioly pouring over Mr Lunney before dumping him on a Cavan road, was also olent of paramilitary thugs.

Harris sd last week that the into the attack is making progress. Garda sources say several of the spected members have been identified, and a van seized in Meath recently is believed to have been ed by the in the attack.

But the s of QIH struggle to see that progress. On Tuesday, the s h their meeting with the Garda in Monaghan. Present be chief eecutive Liam McCaffrey, Dara O’Reilly, non- John Mctin and ion Tony Lunney. Mr Lunney’s br , the ’s chief operating , also attend if he is well enough.

“We are preparing for the meeting with the . We be asking for an update on the , what progress has been made and why t have been no arrests si weeks after was attacked,” Tony Lunney t the day Independent.

An obvio question is whether in the vacuum of any arrests, those responsible for the intimidation felt embened to issue a second death threat. The paramilitary trics surrounding its delivery suggests an element of playing to the gallery too, and the statement even referenced spaper about the attacks on the Quinn group.

John Mctin believes this is all part of the strategy: “We have had intimidation, signs and posters going up, on and on , physical s, and torture and , and ing mnstream attention to se away future investors.”

The s believe the of the campgn of violence is to run them, and the investors, out, risking more than 2,000 connected to the es and leaving the remnants of the group t for a buyer to pick over. The Garda is building on the question cui bono? Who ultimately benefits from the s and their investors out of town?

n Quinn has made no of wanting “his” back. But he has repeatedly condemned the attack on Lunney as “barbaric”, ackledging that his would be “blamed”. He t Channel 4 s that he no hand, or part in the attack, and had abandoned his ambitions to return to the es as a result of it. In his most recent statement to RTE last week, he sd: “I call on those who have advanced threats to withdraw them imtely. If they feel that they are doing it in mine or my ’s name, they are badly mistaken.”

Mr Quinn is also cl irked at Fr O’Reilly. He called to his two weeks ago to challenge him on his famo homily, even though the did not identify anyone in it.

end, Mr Quinn confirmed to the day Independent that he has complned to the ’s Kilmore Diocese. He sd he met the administrator, Monsignor Liam Kelly, and has written to “ ”.

He denied threatening legal ion but he didn’t rule it out either. “I made no threats to anybody,” he sd, in a phone call. Asked if he is conring legal ion, he replied: “Well, we are w we are…”

Asked why he wrote the letter, he sd: “I’m not going t but sure any fool would k why I wrote the letter.” He acced the of “telling lies” from the altar. “So, it’s not hard to k, anybody with any wit would k the man was off his .”

Fr O’Reilly t the day Independent end that he wrote his homily in “” at the “awfulness of the inflicted injuries on Lunney”.

“It is not a good way to be writing something when are angry,” he sd. “I have to take that on board myself before asking anyone else to do that. I don’t want to vilify anyone. It never was my intention. I want to give more rational a , with the hope that these years of intimidation are coming to an end.”

In the sitting room of his h in Ballyconnell, a large detached cl visible on , Fr O’Reilly cited Nelson Mandela’s about “leaving bitterness and hat behind”.

“The most terrible walls are the walls that grow in the . I believe that lies to this area. Walls grow in the of some that are caing difficulty for themselves and for s. These walls are about perceived grievances, and I sup prejudice plays a part and they become entrenched,” he sd.

“We mt find ways and means of ing to take down these walls.”

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