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Murdered Paul Quinn's family says Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy is 'only obstacle' to justice

Breege and Stephen Quinn said Murphy must provide information to gardaí and the PSNI.

Northern Ireland's Finance Minister Conor Murphy.
Northern Ireland's Finance Minister Conor Murphy.
Image: PA Images

THE FAMILY OF Paul Quinn has said that Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister Conor Murphy is to “only obstacle” to justice for their murdered son.

In a statement this morning, Breege and Stephen Quinn said that Murphy needed to “say the simple words, that Paul Quinn was not a criminal” and to also provide information to police on both sides of the border.

The 21-year-old was beaten to death by a gang of eight to 10 men at a barn in Tullycora, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan on 20 October 2007.

Earlier this month, Murphy apologised for comments he made at the time in which he said that Quinn had been involved in smuggling and criminality. On Tuesday, however, Murphy refused to state that Quinn was not a criminal

In their statement this morning, the Quinn family said that “progress” has been made but that Murphy must go further. 

“We have made a lot of progress over the last number of weeks and we thank all politicians who have met with us to date as we continue to seek justice for our Paul. The only obstacle in the way now is Conor Murphy. He knows what is required in order for us to sit down and talk face to face,” the said. 

We understand Mary Lou McDonald prefers for this to be done away from the airwaves but we have endured 13 years of a slur and we will as always seek justice and apply pressure on our own terms. Deputy McDonald has heard the footage of Conor Murphy calling our son a criminal and that he sought assurances from the IRA in the area. We respect Mrs McDonald for her part in loosening Sinn Féin’s position on Paul’s murder but we still are not satisfied.

“We repeat our call on Conor Murphy to say the simple words, that Paul Quinn was not a criminal. He must also go to the PSNI and Gardai with the names of the IRA men he spoke to in Cullyhanna. We have been doing this for 13 years. It is now time for Conor Murphy to do the right thing and help deliver justice for Paul,” the statement concluded.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said that Murphy has spoken to the gardai and PSNI about the murder, but she did not indicate whether he had passed over any names. 

general-election-ireland-2020 Breege and Stephen Quinn at their home near Cullyhanna, Co Armagh. Source: PA

Murphy’s previous apology was raised at Sinn Féin’s rally in Newry last night when an audience member said he had “nothing to apologise for”. 

Murphy was one of the Sinn Féin representatives at the event which also included McDonald, Eoin Ó Broin and Pearse Doherty. Despite applause from the audience, none of the representatives from Sinn Féin responded to the comment about Murphy’s previous apology.

Arrests have previously been made over the murder but no one has ever been charged.

Independent Monitoring Commission

The Independent Monitoring Commission which examined paramilitary activity after the Good Friday Agreement said in 2008 that it “did not attribute the killing to the Provisional IRA” because it was primarily down to local disputes.

Despite this, the IMC said that some of those involved in the murder “had in various ways been associated with the Provisional IRA at a local level”.

The IMC also said the murder was “not unconnected with continuing illegal activity”.

“We think that the attack on Paul Quinn was planned and carried out by local people and that it arose from local disputes. Whatever the immediate reason for the killing certain aspects of these disputes go back some time and were not unconnected with continuing illegal activity,” the IMC said it its report on the murder.

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Rónán Duffy

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