Northern Ireland

Tanker set alight at Quinn Group HQ in Derrylin, County Fermanagh

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Media captionThe fire was put out before it spread to the building

A fuel tanker has been driven into the headquarters of the Quinn Group in County Fermanagh and set alight.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire in the tanker's cab before it spread to the building.

The tanker was reversed into the building on the Ballyconnell Road in Derrylin at around 23:00 GMT on Wednesday.

The company, recently rebranded as Aventas Group, condemned the "moronic attempt to disrupt our business".

The fuel tanker was reported to have been stolen from a nearby property in Derrylin.

It appeared to have been driven through security bollards at the entrance to the building.

It has a Cassidy Oils logo on the side and is surrounded by foam used to extinguish the fire.

'Sabotage'

The building is closed and police are still at the scene, which remains cordoned off.

The company statement said: "We are very grateful to the PSNI for their prompt response and to the local fire brigade, especially given the ever present danger of a tanker explosion.

"This latest incident is part of a continuing campaign of sabotage, intimidation and vilification against this company and certain of its employees.

"These people have a concerted agenda to undermine and destabilise our business with their own misguided and self-interested agenda in mind.

"Despite the 'concerns' regularly expressed by some of these people they have no regard for the impact such activities could have on our employees' jobs and on the local economy, which is so dependent on our businesses.

"Our group changed ownership nearly three years ago. With the continued support of our employees, we continue to face down this misguided minority with resolute determination."

'Grave concern'

Phil Flanagan, Sinn Féin MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, said: "This is a despicable act and is not representative of the local community.

"Those behind these actions are not acting out of loyalty to the Quinn family and are not furthering any cause.

"The only result of such activity will be employment opportunities being impacted upon and that is a matter of grave concern for the people of the local community."

Police have asked anyone who was travelling on the Ballyconnell Road between 22:30 and 23:30 GMT, and who saw anything suspicious, to contact them on 0845 600 8000, or anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

There have been a number of previous attempted arson attacks on Quinn Group property.

All were condemned by the company's former owner, Sean Quinn.

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