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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020

Mother of Paul Quinn says Sinn Féin minister 'put family through hell'

Breege Quinn is holding talks with political parties at Stormont today.

Image: Liam McBurney/PA

THE MOTHER OF a Co Armagh man who was murder 13 years ago has said she has been through hell.

Paul Quinn was beaten to death by a gang of around a dozen men in a farm shed near Castleblayney in Co Monaghan in 2007.

His mother Breege is holding talks with political parties at Stormont today and said she hoped to meet Sinn Fein finance minister Conor Murphy.

A month after his killing, Murphy claimed the 21-year-old had been involved in “smuggling and criminality”.

The comments came to light again during the general election campaign, when Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald was questioned about them. Murphy subsequently apologised for his remarks but Paul Quinn’s mother has urged McDonald to convince him to publicly state that her son was not a criminal.

“He says now he is sorry for saying those words, he knew the day that he said them that they were lies,” Quinn said today.

“He has held that lie for 13 years and put our family through hell.”

Breege Quinn maintains that the IRA was behind the killing but Sinn Fein has denied this.

When questioned at the Stormont Assembly on the issue today, Sinn Féin’s deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill said Murphy’s apology had been “heartfelt and sincere”.

She said: “We are talking about a mother who has been hurt.

“The best place and the best way for this to be dealt with is on a one-to-one basis and Conor Murphy is very happy to meet with Breege Quinn.”

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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