“no information is available to me from the Garda Commissioner..”

As one “good republican” waits for 10 January, and the prospect of the Special Criminal Court, the parents of Paul Quinn have met with the Republic of Ireland’s Minster for Justice [new link] Brian Lenihan and, as requested in their meeting on Monday with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern joined them briefly. According to reports, Taoiseach Bertie reiterated what he had told the Dáil yesterday [subs req]

“I am glad to state what the Minister told the family yesterday, that we have no evidence whatsoever that Paul Quinn was involved in criminal activity.” Mr Ahern reiterated that “the only people in this case who are criminals are the ones who murdered Paul”.

And on the issue of ‘corporate’ responsibility..

He also said that “no information is available to me from the Garda Commissioner to suggest this attack was authorised or sanctioned by the IRA, a question I am continually asked outside the House”. Mr Ahern said he was aware “that questions have been raised about the involvement of local people with IRA associates and IRA associations. It is a matter for the police investigation to follow that through and hopefully the killers will be brought to justice as soon as possible.”

Which, with Chief Constable Hugh Orde claiming that

“I think everyone’s fairly clear on this. People who were associated with the IRA at some stage were certainly involved in that crime.”

is as good a point as any to post a reminder of what the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams had to say back on 22 October.

“I do not believe that there was any republican involvement in this murder. This murder is in our view linked to fuel smuggling involving criminals.

Paul Quinn was attacked and killed on the 20 October.

To borrow a phrase, again, “Justice is the glue that holds society together”..

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  • confused

    Adams had to say back on 22 October.
    I do not believe that there was any republican involvement in this murder. This murder is in our view linked to fuel smuggling involving criminals.

    well since slab and his mates run the criminal enterprises like fuel smuggeling and since jerry thinks thats a great republican.Does that mean that to be a great republican you first of all have to be a criminal.

    [Play the ball. And keep it civil. Otherwise the privilege to comment will be withdrawn – edited moderator]

  • parci

    peteb, this is one of the few times I hope to check in tomorrow, and there’s more hyperlinks:
    “Conor has retracted”… please God.

  • aye

    Quinn was filmed recently in a local tv documentary being chased by the police at high speed in a stolen car. He’s also been fingered as the man who set fire to a tanker load of illegal fuel on a busy road outside Hillsborough, but apparently he’s not a criminal! Yeah right…

  • agh

    the IRA were responsible for hundreds of murders in N.Ireland, are still up to their necks in drugs, fuel smuggling and racteteering, oh, and they arrange the odd murder as well.

    but apparently they’re not criminals! Yeah right…


    I don’t know where ‘confused’ went that got his knuckles rapped by Mick, but from what’s left of his post, it looks like he was on the verge of a decent point.

    Gerry Adams and Conor Murphy caused a lot of pain for a grieving family when they said that their son was killed because he was mixed up in criminal fuel smuggling. Yesterday, we learned two things:

    1. There is no evidence to suggest that young Quinn was involved in criminal activity.
    2. There is enough evidence to prosecute Slab Murphy, described by Conor as a ‘Good Republican’

    If they have a single shred of decency between them, they would apologise.

  • john burns

    “Quinn was filmed recently in a local tv documentary being chased by the police at high speed in a stolen car. He’s also been fingered as the man who set fire to a tanker load of illegal fuel on a busy road outside Hillsborough, but apparently he’s not a criminal! Yeah right… ” Aye 20th Dec. 02.03am

    Surely his family must know that this film exists
    and can be shown again if required. Did they actually name him in the reports?

  • parci

    john I think we can quickly deduce aye is talking bullshit, its a fact that paul quinn never had a conviction.. now if he’d been chased by police and known… see what I mean?

    Check bebo http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=5085258399
    seems like he had alot of good friends, not the sort of profile you’d have if you were really as black as they paint.

    agreed URQUHART

  • lib2016

    After Enniskillen the republican vote went into steep decline until those tactics were seen as having been rejected.

    The local people will know the truth and can be relied on to vote accordingly. Am I right about the next local elections being due in Spring 09?

  • agh

    people thought that the SF vote would decline following McCartney. They may be a few less votes in South Armagh but elsewhere there will be no major effect.
    Pressure could come if the 2 Governments and the cops put major resources into solving this crime and squeezing SF/IRA with regards to their involvement. However, that would put too much pressure on the executive. Easier to put it down as collateral damage.

  • Nevin

    “Paul was not a criminal and those who slandered him must retract. The political establishments must recognise that his killing was the result of organised action by a local paramilitary unit which continues to function and will kill again if nothing is done. The killing machine must be dismantled and our communities must have the full backing of the establishments in the three jurisdictions in that task. Any threat to the new political dispensation can only come from those who would seek to give political cover to the killing machine.”
    0 Comments 2 minutes ago
    Paul Quinn Bebo site

    Sadly, I suspect the Quinn family can expect little positive action from London, Belfast and Dublin; the political process is, apparently, sacrosanct. There will be comforting words but I suspect the prospects for justice are not high.

  • Rory

    Whether or not Quinn had ever been involved in criminal activity, whether involving fuel smuggling, car theft, or rustling goats for that matter, is a moot point really since such speculation only attempts to provide a motive for the brutal attack which left him dead.

    Whatever motive his attackers may have had it cannot provide justification for the attack and attempts to portray it as such by representatives of a political party which shares government are not only distasteful Рthey are alarming Рand Sinn F̩in were wrong in not being more immediately absolutely robust in the condemnation of this act.

    Their stance of, “Yes it was wrong…but maybe he deserved it”, is simply not acceptable in a party holding office whatever misguided loyalty it might feel it needs to display towards elements within its support base. Having taken the great risk of declaring support for the policing system prior to entering into government, they must now fully support it not only to avoid the charge of hypocrisy or manouvering for poltical expediency, but in order to clearly demonstrate a determination to act with principle at all costs.

    So far, in this case, I who have been a pretty robust supporter, I am sad to say they have failed to do that and I do not think that I am alone in that regard.

  • lib2016

    McCartney was a local disagreement between hardmen, one which embarrassed republicans certainly but Sinn Fein were seen as having tried to do the right thing.

    For all the spin that is being put on this case it would seem that much the same situation pertains in South Armagh. It will take time to produce full support for the forces of law and order but my information is that Sinn Fein are seen locally as having been sincere in trying to do so.

    In view of longstanding local attitudes to the police that is not an easy stance and they may even profit from being seen as ready to face down their own hardmen. Be a bit of a shock to those on this board and elsewhere who forget that all politics is local.

  • Jo

    Thus far it would seem that SF are prepared to offer the Quinns every support short of help.

  • New Yorker


    “but my information is that Sinn Fein are seen locally as having been sincere in trying to do so.” Packing the Quinn meeting in Cross last Thursday with local goons at the ready is SF’s idea of law and order, the same law and order that beat Paul Quinn to death. You need new sources of information. The local people want the Provos out of business and would never accuse SF of sincerity, even if the local MP said he never tells lies and does not know the murderers of Paul Quinn. Here’s a new campaign slogan for you – “SF, the sincere party for a 32 county socalist republic” – See how effective that is with your local sources.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Packing the Quinn meeting in Cross last Thursday with local goons at the ready ‘- new yorker

    this is a great example of the prejudice alot of people have towards Sinn Fein members and their supporters. if sinn Fein have people there, they are ‘goons’, but for other parties thay would be termed ‘members’ or ‘supporters’. and people wonder why Sinn Fein get so defensive.

  • harry

    good luck to Sean Hoey today.

  • There have been some quite serious accusations made in this thread.

    [i]Quinn was filmed recently in a local tv documentary being chased by the police at high speed in a stolen car. He’s also been fingered as the man who set fire to a tanker load of illegal fuel on a busy road outside Hillsborough, but apparently he’s not a criminal! Yeah right…

    Posted by aye on Dec 20, 2007 @ 02:03 AM[/i]

    Can you tell me where I can see this evidence, solid proof please and not local here say. If such proof does exist why wheren’t the police made aware and action taken. More to the point even [b]if[/b] Paul Quinn was up to no good is that an excuse to kill him in cold blood? Neither the UK nor Irish governments practice capital punishment so why should those responsible for this murder be allowed to be judge jury and executioner?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘solid proof please and not local here say’

    its a pity some people can’t extend the same courtesy to Sinn Fein and other republicans.

  • susan

    I would not be a member of the Bebo generation (cough, hack, wheeze), but my youngest cousins and oldest nieces and nephews are, so it was surreal to me to see an argument break out on the blaganna na hÉireann suggesting that the Bebo page was some sort of SDLP stunt. Even I in my dotage knew that the homepage of Paul’s girlfriend memorialising Paul had reached 13,000 views weeks before the Quinn Support page was ever launched. I’ve been sent video tributes and photo montages of Paul featuring music from Westlife, Rufus Wainwright’s “Halleluia,” and who knows what.

    I never dreamt SF of all the parties would discount the charisma and hold of a dead, young man on people’s hearts and imaginations, but it seems perhaps they have.

    I have felt the same surge of hatred towards SF members slurring a dead twenty one year old in the faces of his devastated parents as I once felt for individual members of the Royal Marines and SAS who treated young male members of my family as as petty, disposable garbage because of their surnames, their addresses, and their memberships in the GAA. There has long been a cottage industry in portraying the fighting men of South Armagh as gods or monsters, depending on point of view. The truth is and always was so much harder to bear.

    Paul Quinn’s mother and father have been open about the fact that their son was, in their words, “no saint.” That doesn’t mean there is any validity to most of the wilder claims against him. The huge public turnout for his funeral should have been read as a clear indication of support and a seachange, but apparently it was not.

    Not so long ago many seriously believed only a virgin could be raped. In sadness I see there are still folks about who claim to condemn the murder but openly go on to state Paul Quinn must have been asking for what he got. Listen. It is precisely because of the remembered ruthlessness of both paramilitaries and the security forces under pressure pre and post-ceasefire that so many of us feel an instinctive protectiveness towards those who are or were “no saints,” and genuine disgust and even hatred to those who treat them as disposable.

    do not believe Paul’s murder was political, but I believe the SF comments on Paul’s character and the careful side-stepping of any comments on exiling orders are and were politically motivated.

    God bless and God protect every politician, every blogger, every friend of Paul’s who stands up for and beside his parents in their quest to see the bastards in boiler suits who beat their son to death brought to justice. Heaven knows it is not too much to ask.

  • Jo

    Very good, compassionate post, Susan.

    Well done.

    You embody the same feelings as many of the more humane posters and bloggers who do not mistake (relative) anonymity of public blogs for a licence to spout hatred, abuse and engage in utterly sickening rituals of dehumanisation.

    What you’ve said means that I, for one, feel no further need to comment on this subject.

  • lily

    Susan very good post.

  • susan

    Jo and lily…thank you both. Honestly, Jo, I thought your post 13 on this thread cut more neatly to the point.

    I’ve known loss, but I look at the face of my six year old son beaming up at me and I can’t begin to imagine how or where Briege and Stephen Quinn find their strength.

    Neither of you would intentionally or unintentionally cause pain to a grieving family, and for that and more I hope you both keep on talking.

  • Jo

    Thanks, Susan.

    I do have reservations about posting on certain issues on blogs insofar as I believe that relatives or friends of deceased people may happen on the threads either at the time of, or shortly after their tragedy. For us, it may be a headline or something morally outrageous, but for them, it is/was a deeply wounding, possibly life-changing experience.

    While I’m confident that nothing I, or others like yourself, have ever said would add to their pain, this and some other blogs have indeed added to the injury. Moreover, that was the intention of the respective posters.

  • Turgon

    As ever your decency is easy for all to see. Whilst I suspect I share very little politically with susan I do agree with on some of what she says.

    We must remember that Mr. Quinn was a young man with parents, friends etc. His murder is indeed not political as such.

    I admit to feeling a certain anxiety in commenting on his murder and its aftermath especially in view of my personal political position which is clearly radically different from that of South Armagh nationalists. As such I can offer nothing to the Quinn family save my prayers.

    The problem is that the aftermath to this crime is extremely politically relevant. The behaviour of SF towards the man’s memory, his family and their campaign is deeply political. The pathetic response of the DUP and the two governments is also deeply politically significant. These responses are in danger of undermining both the family’s campaign for justice and the attempts to bring proper law and order to parts of this island.

    I see that “aye” continues to slur this young man name, in much the same way as Mr. Gaskin did on previous threads.

    Lib 2016 presents a barely more subtle form of slurring. To describe this as a “local disagreement between hardmen” is utterly specious. Mr. Quinn even had he been a “hardman” would have scaresly been in a position to defend himself against a group of armed thugs. Futhermore this supposed “hardman” apparently had to take fuel from an old tractor to get to a job as a casual labourer. This was no criminal conspirator. He was a young man who had annoyed some truly nasty and dangerous people. All lib’s attempt to spin this and present SF as being supportive of the family turn to ashes as soon as one remembers the agreed facts of what happened and the behaviour of SF following it.

    Sadly I suspect that lib is correct and that this will have no real long term consequences political or otherwise. A bit of huffing and puffing, possibly a delay to the devolution of policing powers but little prospect of convictions, little prospect of the end of the reign of dangerous and shaddowy people who hold a malign grip on parts of South Armagh. Most importantly I am very doubtful that; any let alone all those who conspired in such a cowardly fashion to murder this young man will ever be brought to justice.

    The only hope I can offer is that one day justice really will be served on the perpetrators and that will be true justice albeit outside the realms of this world.

  • Jo


    Alas, the other thread on the collapse of the Omagh bomber trial provides further evidence of the elusiveness of Justice through the courts. (As a Libran, I give it a capital “J”.)

    When I articulate frustration at how this leaves the families feeling, I am accused of wanting Sean Hoey put away *anyway* like the Birmingham 6 or Guildford 4. Were he guilty as charged, I think a USA-style sentence of 99 years plus would be inadequate. A judge has deemed it otherwise and he is driven to that conclusion due – mainly – to the behaviour of the police…you’ll have to forgive me a somewhat unseasonal *sigh*…

  • joeCanuck

    There are a couple of TV programs here in North America, one fictional, Without a Trace, and one factual, the First 48.
    Both are based on the premise that if arrests are not made in the first 48 hours after a killing or abduction, then the chances of solving the crime are slim indeed.
    I hope that isn’t in the least bit true in the case of young Quinn.

  • Nevin

    Quinn family challenge Sinn Fein

    The family of a man murdered in Northern Ireland two months ago, today insisted Sinn Fein must withdraw allegations that he was a victim of a dispute between criminals before they will talk to the party. ..

    Mr Quinn said: “I spoke to him (Mr Murphy) for about half a minute or so.

    “He rang our house and was looking to speak to me but I had some conditions before I would speak – to lift the criminality thing in public and all that.

    “He didn`t say he`d do it. So I just left it at that.

  • parci

    Nevin, Mr.Murphy could withdraw the improper allegations today and give the family some peace at Xmas.