Kevin Lunney trial: Human blood found in horse box at accused's yard, court hears

Dr Yvonne O'Dowd of Forensic Science Ireland gave evidence on Monday, stating tests determined the blood was human rather than that of an animal.
Kevin Lunney trial: Human blood found in horse box at accused's yard, court hears

Eoin Reynolds

A forensic scientist found blood inside a blue horse box in a yard belonging to one of the men accused of abducting and assaulting businessman Kevin Lunney, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

On Monday, Dr Yvonne O'Dowd of Forensic Science Ireland told prosecuting counsel Sean Guerin SC that she attended a yard at Drumbrade, Ballinagh, Co Cavan on September 22nd, 2019 to examine a blue horse box for evidence of blood.

Dr O'Dowd used luminol, a chemical spray that emits a blue light when it comes into contact with blood, and having conducted a thorough search of the inside of the horse box, she noted a blue glow in an area to the right of the door.

Dr O'Dowd did a further 'KM test' which confirmed the presence of blood and so she took two swabs from the area. She brought the samples to the Forensic Science Laboratories where she conducted a hematrace test which confirmed the blood was human rather than animal.

The scientist agreed with Michael O'Higgins SC, for the accused known as YZ, that she did not know whether the blood was of human or animal origin until she carried out the laboratory hematrace test.

Garda enquiries

Detective Garda David Kerrigan told Mr Guerin that he arrived at the yard at Drumbrade on September 21st, the day before Dr O'Dowd conducted her examination.

He said he noted the presence of trailers and a horse box and reported what he saw to a senior garda who told him to preserve the scene. Garda Kerrigan said he conducted enquiries and established the yard belonged to Luke O'Reilly, one of the four accused.

Lawyers for the four accused are challenging the admissibility of evidence relating to the yard and trailers.

A 40-year-old man known as YZ, Alan O’Brien (40), of Shelmalier Road, East Wall, Dublin 3, Darren Redmond (27), from Caledon Road, East Wall, Dublin 3 and Luke O’Reilly (67), with an address at Mullahoran Lower, Kilcogy, Co Cavan have all pleaded not guilty to false imprisonment and intentionally causing serious harm to Mr Lunney at Drumbrade, Ballinagh, Co Cavan on September 17th, 2019.

Mr Lunney, a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH), has told the court that he was bundled into the boot of a car near his home and driven to a container where he was threatened and told to resign as a director of the company.

His abductors cut him with a Stanley knife, stripped him to his boxer shorts, doused him in bleach, broke his leg with two blows of a wooden bat, beat him on the ground, cut his face and scored the letters QIH into his chest. They left him bloodied, beaten and shivering on a country road at Drumcoghill, Co Cavan, where he was discovered by a man driving a tractor.

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge David McHugh.

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