“the damage to our society and our democracy may already be irreparable..”

An Economist report on the investigation into the killing of Paul Quinn claims that police are following a line of inquiry whereby Quinn “was involved in smuggling diesel, and was killed after unrelated quarrels with men from his village of Cullyhanna.” Not, however, the senior Garda officer quoted in the Observer report where it’s claimed that two men have already fled to England after being told to “take the rap for the Quinn murder”, and claims that all of those responsible for the killing were “members of the Provisional IRA’s South Armagh brigade.” Additionally, David McKittrick in the Independent on Sunday states that “police in the Irish Republic, in particular, made no secret of their intelligence that formerly prominent IRA personnel had killed Paul Quinn.” Also in the Sunday papers, Alan Ruddock takes issue with David Adams’ contention in Friday’s Irish Times, that “Sinn Féin is now as normal as any other political party”, and in his accusation of complicity, “because we have failed to challenge their duplicity”, he echoes the sentiment of Kevin Toolis, writing in 1999, on the response to the murder of Eamon Collins.

, , , ,

  • CTN

    Whoever did it Murphy, Adams and McGuinness are dead wood who should be cut loose…

  • harry

    what do mean dead wood??
    “dead wood” from a unionist perspective, that PSF shouls be dumped from the ASSembly

    or do you mean that they are dead wood in that they have led the sheep in the party into a cul de sac???

  • New Yorker

    In the articles mentioned this area is portrayed as a haven for gangs of psychopaths and organized criminals. If true, what are the governments going to do about it? How do they plan to protect the people of the area who are the victims of the murder and oppression? What good is any government if it cannot protect its citizens?

  • snakebrain

    Interesting comment piece by Jenny McCartney over at the (Daily) Telegraph prompted by this incident.

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    If the Garda investigation finds that Provisional IRA members killed Paul Quinn then SF should be immediately expelled from the Northern Executive.

  • snakebrain

    Political expediency forbids that Darren…

  • ahg

    i think the observer suggested the entire gang were provos. so much for no republican involvement!! more blatent lies from SF?? What a surprise!!! No wonder southerners are turning their backs on these thugs!! Time to wake up N.Ireland.

  • James

    Darren,

    your logic is simplistic and downright idiotic.
    SF can’t control a bunch of thugs who decide to do something like this.
    by your stupid logic, that means that if 3 irish soldiers on a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon decide to murder a family, then Fianna Fail should be held responsible, as ultimately, they’re part of the one overall organisation.

    AHG,

    it’s a pity for you that southerners haven’t turned their back on SF. their overall number 1st preference votes was up from the previous general election, and their number of TDs remained the same. don’t be embarrassed at being completely wrong champ.

    New Yorker,

    perhaps you should take the time to educate yourself on the area. it’s akin to me saying that “i saw on tv that New York was full of drugdealers, and homeless people warming themselves with fires in trash cans, after they pick pocket some one. If true, what good is any government if it cannot protect its citizens?….”
    trust me, it real isn’t true.

  • harry

    good man James, hold the side up for SF.
    except that majority of people in the south Armagh area know fine rightly that the “RA” did this

    and of course none of the PSF politicos could bring themselves to go the funeral. Was the MP too busy to attend the funeral of a dead constitutent murdered by a criminal gang?? does he not care??

    and i think if your honest with yourself, PSF were gobsmacked with the stageringly bad free state results. they really thought that they would bounce on the whole executive thing

    and… PSF actually lost a TD.

    and if you follow the council seats in the, PSF councillors are resigning left right and centre.

    but, james, keep trying to spin it away

  • New Yorker

    James

    Are there police patrols in the area? When a gang of psychopaths crosses an international border and murders – and one week later there are no arrests, there is a major problem. The local people deserve safety and the world does not need another terrorist haven. Your comparison with NY is not apt as we have a very effective police force, which you apparently do not. If a terrorist is detected, they are taken off the street and not coddled as some there are to eager to do.

  • A.N.Other

    Talk about stating the bloody obvious. Of course Sinn Fein is not a normal political party; but then this is not a normal country. And Alan Ruddock, with his own lack of objectivity, merely conforms to the stereotype. Hw would do well to read Lacan on the psychopathology of anger; this may provide him with an insight into his own thoughts and feelings, and the thoughts, feelings and actions of others!

  • snakebrain @ 07:42 PM:
    is quite correct in recommending the Jenny McCartney piece in the Sunday Telegraph. There is also a parallel version by Suzanne Breen in the Sunday Tribune. Both cover the ground admirably, and are available on http://www.nuzhound.com/index.php

    The state of affairs in South Armagh is sheer gangsterism rather than politics, and has been for a long while. It is an awful warning of “be careful what you wish for: you might get it.” I find it a bit fruity for New Yorker @ 04:33 AM to be blaming the Gardaí and the PSNI for a state of affairs brought about, to some extent, by decades of Irish-American investment in terrorism and support for local war-lords. And, in passing, let’s note repeated death-threats to those SF councillors in North Belfast and Netownabbey who take up seats on the District Policing Partnerships.

    James @ 11:28 PM needs to look again at the May Election figures: however you slice it, SF were the salami. SF resourced 42 candidates across 41 seats, and got 5 elected: that’s a pretty fair approximation to being cut down to size.

    Only in a couple of other seats did SF’s first preferences indicate it might be anything like an “also-ran”.

    The difference between 2002 and 2007 may not be only that the RoI electors had cooled on SF after the NI “agreement”: in 2002 SF and the Greens both did well, by exploiting a unique-selling point — Euroscepticism and opposition to the Nice treaty.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    New Yorker: “When a gang of psychopaths crosses an international border and murders – and one week later there are no arrests, there is a major problem.”

    As opposed, say, to the bad old days of NYC, when a gang of psychotics could commit a murder in the city and stay within the city? Y’know, the later Koch and Dinkins years?

    In law enforcement, it’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.

    New Yorker: “The local people deserve safety and the world does not need another terrorist haven.”

    Say New Yorker, with the sort of breathless hyperbole usually reserved for bodice-rippers…

    New Yorker: “Your comparison with NY is not apt as we have a very effective police force, which you apparently do not.”

    Things go in phases — as noted above, the NYC police force has not always been a model of efficiency — Koch and Dinkins, remember? I would also point out that international politics, no matter how local they seem, complicate things — how many millions in parking tickets and moving violations can’t NYC collect because of international issues?

    New Yorker: “If a terrorist is detected, they are taken off the street and not coddled as some there are to eager to do. ”

    Which is why Eliot Spitzer is pushing so hard for driver’s licenses for illegal aliens? Now pull the other leg… What’s he going to do for an encore, Al-Qaeda branded credit cards, with a portion of the proceeds going “to the cause?” Don’t fool yourself — there are plenty in the States who would coddle terrorists.

  • New Yorker

    Malcolm Redfellow

    If by “decades of Irish-American investment in terrorism and support for local war-lords” you are referring to money collected by SF/IRA, the amounts are small and largely a cover for money raised illegally in Ireland and the UK. 99.9% of Irish Americans do not support SF/IRA objectives or means.

    Dread Cthulhu

    In the later Koch and Dinkins years police efficency was not at the high level since then but even then a gang of 8-15 murderers would have been tracked down and booked in less than a week. You gainsay the “terrorist haven” but the same people are involved are those who sold their expertise in Colombia, so it is reasonable to assume they would entertain relations with other terorist groups outside of Ireland. What is the connection between driving licences for illegal immigrants and terrorism? Governor Spitzer’s proposal makes realistic sense. Right-wingers who spout on about Al Queda getting driving licenses make no sense and use a shallow scare argument. Surely it is better to legally document all who drive and reside in NY. The lack of good policing, for whatever reason, is a serious problem for the people in this particular area, Ireland and those who appreciate the danger of terrorist havens.

  • agh

    ‘The lack of good policing, for whatever reason, is a serious problem for the people in this particular area, Ireland and those who appreciate the danger of terrorist havens. ‘

    At the end of the say, the majority of people in this particular area seem fairly happy how the Ra run the place, so don’t expect things to change much. Already this matter has been pretty much swept under the carpet. Unless there is pressure put on SF, no one will ever be brought to justice over this act. Easier just to move on and forget about it, just like so many other republican and loyalist attrocities over the past 30 odd years.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    New Yorker: “In the later Koch and Dinkins years police efficency was not at the high level since then but even then a gang of 8-15 murderers would have been tracked down and booked in less than a week.”

    Like I said, pull the other leg, New Yorker.

    The “thin blue line” back then was as crooked as a cork-screw, the city averaged about 2000 murders a year from 1974 to 1994, peaking 2600+ murders in 1990. That’s worse than one “Troubles” every two years, raw numbers.

    BTW, in 1992, the clearance rate for homicides (murders solved vs. murders committed) was about 60%, per the NYT, making your suggestion that apprehension in such a killing like this would be a slam-dunk somewhat weak, on its face.

    New Yorker: “What is the connection between driving licences for illegal immigrants and terrorism?”

    What would you consider 9-11? Urban renewal via air-liner? Do you imagine that their operating in the U.S. would be harder or easier if the state of NY gives ID to all comers? Do you think that making life easier for the illegal immigrant supports or undermines US Federal law? As much as you try to claim that to consider such things as “scare-mongering,” it is still a legitimate consideration, just as a porous border that allows illegal immigrants who seek illicit entry for work is a porous border that allows illegal immigrants in for more sinister purposes.

    New Yorker: “The lack of good policing, for whatever reason, is a serious problem for the people in this particular area, Ireland and those who appreciate the danger of terrorist havens. ”

    Given the FBI would seem to be watching Patterson, NJ for Islamic terrorists, I’d say you’d be better served looking closer to home before criticizing how others handle their problems.

  • andy

    More politically inspired claptrap from hypocrites of the highest order.

    Neither the Alan Ruddock or Jenny McCartney piece stated that SF have told people to go to the police – this is an objective “big deal” in
    the Northern Irish situation. The fact they did not mention this in any serious way that seriously impairs their credibility. They wanted to throw shit – that is all.

  • andy @ 09:00 PM:

    Ah, an addition for the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary:
    Hypocrite: one who fails to state clearly, and on any occasion, that any knowledge of a major crime (e.g. murder) needs to be conveyed to the police, or a journalist who fails to recognise in 72-point type when a legitimate political party makes such a self-evident recognition.

    D’oh.

    By the way, someone, somewhere hasn’t adjusted the time from BST.

  • New Yorker

    Dread Cthulhu

    Your diversionary arguments are noted. Comparing the area of the murder with NY City is pointless. NY has a population of over eight million, the NY Police Department makes over 450,000 arrests a year.

    So why are there no arrests of the gang of 8-15 murderers? We both know it is total non-cooperation with the PSNI, including elected representatives who pay lipservice to support of the PSNI. In normal policing it is much easier to crack a gang of 8-15 than one or two. But this area has no legitimate policing and, as stated, that presents major dangers. You may not think so but your perspective may be quite limited. Terrorist havens are a concern for the international community.

    The 9/11 hijackers had visas and other legal documentation. The screw-up was that they were not detected and questioned and that is the Bush administration’s fault. Any documentation of illegal immigrants immensely improves security. The illegal immigrants should be allowed to become citizens. I find your argument without merit.

    I find your nonchalance on killers on the loose interesting but not commendable.

  • andy

    Malcolm
    They are hypocrites in the way they (rightly) publicise republican linked murders but there was next to no coverage of murders like Tomas Devlin and Michael Mcilveen. And yes I am aware of the difference in political implication but the fact is the difference in pcoverage is due, predominantly, to the political sentiment of commentators in question.
    (I appreciate I did not outline my reasons for the accusation of hypocricy, so fair enough)

    What was the point of your sarcastic definition? Do you think that the SF call to go the police was unimportant given historical context? Strangely I didnt think you were that stupid. Or do you think the two commentators didnt talk about as they overlooked it?
    OR do you actually think they did not talk about as it would have got in the way of their anti-Sinn Fein narrative? (in my opinon, of course, the most likely option).

  • andy

    OK I have re-read the articles. McCartney didnt mention the call to go the police at all. Ruddock did, in fairness mention it, but then pretty much sarcastically dismissed it.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    New Yorker: “Your diversionary arguments are noted.”

    It is not diversionary. I am simply pointing out the flaws in your argument. You act as if this happens nowhere else in the world and is somehow abnormal. It’s not. It happens any place where the gangs gain power and influence in near-parity to the legitmate powers that be within their area. It happened in NYC. it is on-going in Philadelphia.

    New Yorker: “So why are there no arrests of the gang of 8-15 murderers? We both know it is total non-cooperation with the PSNI, including elected representatives who pay lipservice to support of the PSNI.”

    The same thing happens in the United States — the whole “Stop Snitchin'” phenomenon, for example, in Philadelphia.

    New Yorker: “Any documentation of illegal immigrants immensely improves security.”

    Obviously not, given Spitzer’s partial climb-down, producing a two-tiered licensing regieme. Likewise, accomdating illegal immigrants serves to encourage illegal immigrants.

    New Yorker: “I find your nonchalance on killers on the loose interesting but not commendable. ”

    As is your hypocrisy.

    I am not nonchalant. I am simply unimpressed by your hyperbole and one-eyed analysis. The same circumstances — witnesses intimidated by gang-members and unwilling to testify — happen all over the world, even in the United States.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    All

    Lets not talk around this issue lets cut to the chase!

    The Provisional Army Council of Oglaigh Na hEirean know exactly who murdered Paul Quinn.

    The selfish bastards who smuggle and line their pockets under the watchful eye of the PSNI under the peace farce in the occupied six counties are only interested in lining their pockets and anyone who gets in the way gets it!

    In South Armagh former Freedom Fighters are now common criminals with no respect for the community who stood by them through the conflict!

    Their war is over and they are gangsters.

    The brits on the otherhand do not want to shake the boat and upset the provos so just like Robert McCartney do not expect to see anyone charged with the kids death.

    Murphy, Adams and McGuiness have now become the apologist for GANGSTERS!

  • andy @ 11:08 PM:

    That clock’s still an hour out.

    However:
    Do you think that the SF call to go the police was unimportant given historical context?
    “Unimportant”, not necessarily. It’s some six months since SF came on board (literally) and nominated Martina Anderson, Maskey and McKay to the reconstituted policing board. How long must we go on congratulating and back-slapping? By lamentably failing to do so, I was at one with most commentators in treating SF as any other mature, democratic, responsible political party. You may think I was equally misguided in acknowledging (above) the courage of SF councillors in North Belfast and Netownabbey who take up seats on the District Policing Partnerships, despite death threats.

    … do you think the two commentators didn’t talk about as they overlooked it?
    I guess that they, unlike you, didn’t think it was sufficiently important to cut into a limited space. I suggest that the two accounts to which I referred gave a fair summary of the state of play, as the writers saw it, at some point last Saturday. They were both detailed, and — inevitably — partial: how can one be impartial about a brutal murder? And, no, it wasn’t necessary to have a recital of all previous carnage with which we have been regaled, at considerable length.

    I believe you are asking for the impossible in journalism. It’s a minute-by-minute call of what’s happening now, what the editor and sub-editor will pass and have space for between the horoscopes and ads for massage parlours. On the whole, most journos of most (and no) political complexions do a fair job by their readers. I’m lucky: today, on line and in print, I have access to a wide variety of sources so the bias tends to cancel out. So I’m grateful I’m not stuck in the boondocks with only USA Today and Fox News for company (and I have been).

    I am also somewhat amused by your strictures. It’s only a month since I was being reprimanded by another contributor for citing the Derry Journal over the events of 1922 and not giving equal prominence to the Londonderry Sentinel.

    And all this has to go into a little box, just four dozen characters wide. So, occasionally, my stupidity shows through.

  • andy

    Malcolm
    thanks for the response. I may have gone a wee bit overboard with the “stupid” comment 🙂

    Your comments on the articles in question are duly noted (although naturally I think you’re being too kind on the motivation behind them…)

    The David Mckittrick article (reportage not commentary)in the Independent was worth reading I thought.

    Anyway, adios.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Rory(SD): “In South Armagh former Freedom Fighters are now common criminals with no respect for the community who stood by them through the conflict!

    Their war is over and they are gangsters. ”

    Then let the politicians take the political leash off of the police and let the gangsters feel the full weight and power of the police, regardless of political, religious or social affiliations.

  • New Yorker

    Dread Cthulhu

    You recent position is “Then let the politicians take the political leash off of the police and let the gangsters feel the full weight and power of the police, regardless of political, religious or social affiliations.” Now you are on point. The big question is will the politicians take the leash off. Or, the bigger question may be can they take the leash off, that is, are they controlled by the gangsters. What’s your opinion on that?

    Earlier you said “The same circumstances—witnesses intimidated by gang-members and unwilling to testify—happen all over the world, even in the United States.” Do you see the difference now? Obviously the PSNI could solve this crime if the local politicians really wanted them to. In a small area with a small population and 8-15 suspects to question, it is not a very difficult police job.

    If there had been normal policing in the area beforehand, do you think normal policing could have prevented the murder?

  • Why is it that whenever any republican is killed in unclear circumstances, the PIRA is almost invariably blamed immediately for it by the press and most of the posters on this site without a shred of evidence, as has happened in the vicious murder of Paul Quinn?

    Rather than holding one’s fire until something reliable is established, almost everyone lets go with whatever apparent similar killing they know of, what anonymous sources, it seems, tell suspect hacks in the media, etc., ad nauseam claim.

    For what Ireland’s Foreign Minister thinks about all this hype in Quinn’s case, see this link:

    http://www.u.tv/newsroom/indepth.asp?pt=n&id=85675

  • Another effective reflection on the whole sad business via today’s Newshound, http://www.nuzhound.com/index.php, hot-linking to the Derry Journal‘s “Onlooker” comment piece:
    Some haven’t gone away, you know http://www.derryjournal.com/onlooker/Some-haven39t-gone-away-you.3428324.jp

    Definitely worth the trip.

  • snakebrain

    From the UTV report linked by Trowbridge:

    “However, Sinn Fein politicians have insisted they do not believe republicans were behind the attack and they think it is connected to criminality.”

    That’s doublethink worthy of a Jesuit.

  • The Dubliner

    The Irish Gardai are fully aware who carried out the murder, as is Dermot Ahern. The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs is an apologist mouthpiece for PSF/PIRA. They don’t want folks to be concerned that the boss of PIRA’s Army Council, one of the richest organised crime cartel’s in Europe (and the direct boss of the Deputy First Minister) enjoys immunity for his crimes courtesy of being a mafia that has leading members in high places.

    All 15 were members of the Provisional IRA’s South Armagh brigade.

    ‘They left in the middle of the week after it became clear they were to take the “rap” for the Quinn murder,’ one senior Irish police officer said this weekend. ‘They were told they would have to hand themselves over to the gardai.’

    The Garda officer said the men’s leader, millionaire smuggler Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy, was furious that the so-called punishment beating that went wrong has refocused attention on the IRA leader’s smuggling empire on the border.

  • For posters convinced that the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs is no more than the apologist mouthpiece of SF/PIRA, and that The Observer’s Henry McDonald is the font of knowledge when it comes to The Troubles, I suggest they read these links:

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/politics/docs/mfa/da100505.htm

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/nireland/story/0,,958560,00.html

    For those of you incapable of even reading – perhaps you can get a literate friend to read this for you? – Dermot Ahern is laying down the law in May 2005 about what SF/PIRA have to do if the Peace Process is to move forward, and McDonald compares Scap aka ‘Stakeknife’ – the fallguy for ‘Steakknife’ aka DUKE, DOOK, etc. – to Kim Philby and the character ‘Mundt’ in a Jon le Carrie novel.

    If you want more about the positions of the former regarding SF/PIRA, and the crap by the later, just ask, and I shall supply them.

  • There is a homogeneity and synchronicity to those articles which appeared under various names in Sunday’s media. Fairly clearly, much comes from an “off-the-record” briefing involving that “senior Garda officer”. And then … nothing.

    Apart from the local South Armagh “usual suspects”, the Sindy artillery went for Adams for his “assurances of republican innocence” (Alan Ruddock) and “… one south Armagh resident said last week: ‘The best proof that the IRA killed Paul Quinn was when Gerry Adams denied it’ ” (Jim Cusack). One might almost think that Adams was a spent force to be written-off and designated as can-carrier (see below).

    Meanwhile, we have McDonald in the Observer (in common with similar insousience in the Belfast Telegraph) managing not to raise his eyebrows when reporting “DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson said he did not believe the Quinn murder was ordered by the IRA’s central command”.

    Colm Heatley posts from Belfast (just to remind you folks that this is a NI story!) in the Sunday Business Post on similar lines to McDonald and Suzanne Breen.

    When Trowbridge goes back to May 18, 2003 for McDonald’s previous report, he stirs a thought, particularly in the reference to le Carré’s character “Mundt”.

    At the end of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Leamas goes back for Liz, the English Communist who had been brought to East Germany to testify against Leamas. In the dénouement, Leamas and Liz attempt to escape through the Berlin Wall. Leamas makes an apologia to Liz: in the parallel amoral universe of spies and epionage, the little people (like Liz and Leamas) are expendable. Leamas’s own controllers save Mundt “so that the great moronic mass that you admire can sleep soundly in their beds at night. They need him for the safety of ordinary crummy people like you and me.”

    Does this give some meaning to the distraction therapy? Why are so many politicos seeming to spread the Marmite as thinly as possible? Why do we have a “senior Garda officer” going out of his way to point the press in different directions, including the old “fled to England” one? In short, who and what is being protected here?

    And why did Douglas Adams come to my mind? — “Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen.” (Almost Harmless)

  • Since no more relevant thread about the Robert McCartney murder seems available – thanks apparently to posters and site administrators being more interested in pursuing more recent red-herrings about whatever comes to mind when it concerns SF/PIRA – I thought that they might be interested in what Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison said today about his and other Provo members alleged involvement of Robert McCartney:

    http://fenian32.livejournal.com/