SF support for Quinns
By: Joanne Ross – Newry Democrat – 20 April 2010
SINN Fein has stated its support for justice for murdered Cullyhanna man Paul Quinn – a day after his parents delivered a direct challenge to the party.
Stephen and Breege Quinn appealed to Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy to withdraw a claim that Mr Quinn was involved in criminality prior to his brutal murder in Oram two years ago.
“He provided nothing to back this up and we are certain that he has never provided any details of this to either the Gardai or the PSNI,” they said.
“He is our MP but we have no knowledge of him ever inquiring from either police force how the investigation is going.”
Sinn Fein responded to the points raised by a statement released to the Democrat yesterday (Monday).
“Sinn Fein support the family of Paul Quinn in their campaign for justice,” it read.
“We condemned his murder in the strongest possible terms and have appealed for anyone with any information to bring it to the Gardai or the PSNI.
“Conor Murphy has made repeated offers to meet the family of Paul Quinn. The family have refused these meetings.
“He has also raised this case with both the PSNI and the Gardai on numerous occasions.”
Mr Quinn was just 21-year-old when he was lured to a cattle shed on the border and beaten to death with iron bars by a masked gang.
The family blamed the IRA and shortly after the murder set up the Quinn Support Group.
The group is now calling on the south Armagh community to support them by quizzing Mr Murphy on his stance toward the murder.
“In the coming weeks Mr Murphy or his canvassers will be knocking on doors seeking support,” Mr and Mrs Quinn said.
“We would like the voters to put three simple questions to him or the canvassers. Why did Conor Murphy make these accusations against our son?
“Why has he not brought any information to the authorities? Why has he not withdrawn his allegations?”
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein believes the murder of Mr Quinn was used by individuals and groups to discredit the party.
“There are those who are long time political opponents of both Sinn Fein and the peace process who have sought to use this murder for their own narrow political ends,” a spokesman said.
“They have sought to link republicans to this murder without ever bringing forward a shred of evidence to support their claims.
“What is now important is that the killers of Paul Quinn are brought to justice through the courts and Sinn Fein will continue to support all efforts to see this happen.”
Recently some Ancient Order of Hibernians National Board members received a request from Mr. P.J. Bradley of the SDLP in Ireland to invite the parents of Paul Quinn to speak at the A.O.H. National Convention in Cincinnati in July. The request was also conveyed to A.O.H. National President Seamus Boyle along with a personal appeal to honor the request by A.O.H. Board of Erin member Brother John H. Shanahan and Past Michigan State President Patrick Maguire. To my knowledge, there has not yet been a response from Brother Boyle except to say “reply is noted”.
Paul Quinn was a young man from Cullyhanna, County Armagh who was lured to a desolate area of County Monaghan on the pretext of helping some friends. Upon arrival at the designated area, he was set upon by a gang of thugs who beat him unmercifully with iron pipes and literally broke every bone in his body. He later died as a result of his injuries. A website has been set up by the “Justice for Paul Quinn Committee” which gives all of the information on this heinous and savage murder. The website can be accessed at www.quinnsupport.org . I would strongly suggest that you read about this yet unsolved murder and then contact the A.O.H. National President and National Board asking them to honor Mr. Bradley’s request to allow the parents of Paul Quinn to speak about their son’s murder at the A.O.H. National Convention.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America