“He rang our house and was looking to speak to me..”

After meeting with the Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, and then with Justice Minister, Brian Lenihan, and briefly with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, and apparently securing some movement from their earlier statements, the parents of Paul Quinn met today with the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, and they emerged to claim that the British government also shared the view that Paul Quinn was not a criminal. But, as Mark Devenport notes, the reports also revealed that the Northern Ireland Regional Development minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, MP, MLA, had attempted to contact the family by phone during the week

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. I told him that whenever he wanted to do that sort of thing maybe we might consider speaking to him.”

Btw, that request could be made to others in Sinn Féin..

[Gerry Adams 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.”

One more time then, “It’s far better people tell the truth on the thing..”

Of course, that requires some clarity of vision..

And, as has been mentioned in connection to another recent event – “Justice is the glue that holds society together.”

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  • sceolaing

    Well done Mr. Quinn! Let the M.P. withdraw his allegations against Paul and apologise for the hurt caused to the suffering family. It took him 9 weeks to pluck up courage to make that phone call. Is he under pressure from inside and outside his party?

  • Only Asking

    Sinn FEin left it very late to contact the family. Perhaps they feel under pressure to contact them now that this new group has formed. I see Jim Alister who is chair man of the group has written a very nice little piece for fortnight magazine.

  • Turgon

    There is an extremely well argued and cogent analysis of the SF strategy presented by The Penguin on post 11 of the there is too much hypocrisy thread.

    The fact that Conor Murphy has now attempted to contact the family may be the next phase in using the same strategy with the Quinn’s which SF has used with the McCartney’s. Having attacked and vilified Paul Quinn’s reputation, then the campaign for justice for him it may now be that SF are trying to draw the family into some sort of apparent semi-support for an evolving SF position. The cynical manner in which the McCartney family was used at the SF conference may have helped a bit with damage limitation for SF. Is it possible that we are now seeing the beginings of a similar plan with the Quinns. It seems to be to semi draw them into the SF orbit, thus allowing SF to pose as supporting them and maybe to steer them away from people of whom SF disapprove such as Jim McAllister and the SDLP.

  • harry

    pity sinn fein were not as canny at manipulating the brits as they are in handling the fallout from their cousins in the ra actions.

  • rog

    Mrs Doyle,

    What are you trying to say?



  • rob


    Even those people that are inside the SF fold who acually thought that these mureders were committed by Republicans must be thinking now…’is it me next?


  • Turgon

    I am in no position to analyse the views of republicans from South Armagh or elsewhere. Most people who reads slugger will be well aware of my opinions and most republicans will, I suspect hold both me and my views in contempt.

    However, I do think that there seems to be a problem in that many people are trapped in fear of criminal gangs in South Armagh and elsewhere. One of the problems of the current political process is that many of the population of Northern Ireland seem content to abandon certain sections of our society to live in areas which remain essentially unprotected by the rule of law. This clearly applies to both republican and loyalist areas.

    I am not so naíve as to believe that South Armagh republicans are about to become unionists but neither am I so foolish as to believe that everyone in South Armagh was or is completely supportive of everything that the IRA or its members were and are now involved in.

    I can obviously be accused of very cynical motives in all this but I do think thought needs to be given as to how people who have been marginalised can be helped and protected. Although such communities cannot be generalised I am interested in hearing what strategies they feel could help them.

  • Only Asking

    One of the members of the support group Jim McAllister has written a little piece in fortnight magazine, which is a very good analysis of things so far. Here is a section of it which I think is interesting. http://www.fortnight.org

    ”Claims from people in high places such as Bertie Ahern or Connor Murphy that there was no IRA involvement in the murder and
    beatings ring hollow especially when they come up with nothing to back their analysis of ‘feuding smuggling gangs’. These claims are viewed as a political smokescreen rather than rational analysis. Few, however, see the Stormont administration in any remote danger
    and most wonder what game is being played by such establishment figures.

    There is little doubt that a failure to secure arrests and convictions in this case will set back any plans for acceptable policing, in south Armagh for many years to come. Conversely, arrests and convictions could well see an upswing of support for policing in ways that some of those who shout loudest for policing did not imagine and possibly do not really want. The local MP Connor Murphy, for instance, is ambivalent on RTE’s: ‘This Week in Politics’ he boasted of being the man who introduced the PSNI to the people of Crossmaglen while on BBC Two’s ‘Newsnight’ he told reporter Liz McKean that it was ‘not necessarily’ for the police to decide on IRA involvement in the murder!

    If politics are seen to come into play in deciding how to treat this case then both policing and politics will have been dealt a severe blow which will give policing and some political parties serious problems. A turn out of over two hundred local people to a public meeting in Cullyhanna at which the IRA stood accused of brutality and murdercould be a sign of changes at grassroots level which would have been unimaginable just 2 months ago, a people now unafraid to appear publicly in opposition to the IRA is a whole new scenario.

    How this develops and what it leads to is open to question but beyond any doubt Sinn Fein have major work to do to recoup lost ground. They will not achieve this by sticking to their argument of criminality or their other main plank of attacking people such as myself. It is interesting to local people that while Sinn Fein can cosy up comfortably to Mr Paisley who opposes their core philosophy they express revulsion at attending meetings of the Quinn Support Group because Jim McAllister a fellow republican, will be present!!

    For a number of years in south Armagh and perhaps especially around Cullyhanna there has been an ongoing attempt to paint the youth of the area as anti-social or anti-community whatever either of those phrases actually mean. Many believe that this was done to create a local ‘demand’ for policing to suit Sinn Fein’s new strategy. Whatever the rationale the result has been more disaffection among young, male and female. The young and many of their parents see the murder of Paul Quinn as part of this process and are coming in strongly behind the support group. This again, may have long term implications politically and socially, depending on whether case is solved or not.”

  • New Yorker

    Why can’t Conor Murphy meet Mr. Quinn’s reasonable request? He’s Mr. Quinn’s MLA and MP. How far is Conor Murphy in on the job? His unusual behavior leaves that as the most likely reason for not doing the decent thing.

  • harry

    and we have to pay taxes to pay this MP nad fund his fancy ministerial car etc.

    yet the MP of a constituency where one of his constituents was brutally murdered does not even visit the family.

    even though the family only live about 10miles from where conor lives.

    what a joke

  • Is it me or what

    Glad to see there is no political agenda involved here, now that Jim Mc Allister has been sidelined by decent people from the SDLP whose only concern is justice for Paul Quinn and nothing to do with political point scoring. I suppose Conor Murphy will just copy the apology in writing that Bertie, Dermot, the British Government, the PSNI and the Guardai surely provided Mr Dominic Bradley with to allow the Quinn Family to meet with them, cause as far as I can see they all said the same thing. Fair play to the sdlp for ensuring that this issue has become depoliticised. The (SDLP press Officer allegedly a former On the Run (OTR), in the good old sticky days) who was accused by his brother Aidan of briefing press that the issue would be used by his employers the SDLP to clawback political support in south Armagh is now also vindicated because Conor Murphy and the rest of those Sinn Féin Councillors are as we all know .dirty liars.
    Meanwhile there are those of us who sincerely hope for no other reason but the right reason that those who murderedPaul Quinn are brought to justice.

  • harry

    aye, sdlp evil monsters.

    poor wee sf, would every one just leave them alone, they never did nothin to nobody.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Too little too late from Conor Murphy.

  • supporter

    Well done Mr Quinn fukim and the horse he rode in on.Once again well done.Methinks the spinner shinner expects us to bend the knee to a new set of masters.

  • Willinglearn

    well done sdlp for geting in there. hope mcallister stays with it, he has the guts to speak out and not be afraid and the family know him well.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    For those calling for SF to take the corect course of action then this should be welcomed. Clealry SF got this totally wrong (either deliberately or otherwise). There position was untenable once Berty clarified his remarks. Not sure if Berty has been on the receiving end of any criticism but perhaps he should also be reflecting on his Dail comments.

    Clearly the Quinn family are correct in insisting Conor puts the record straight in public. I for one hope and expect him to do so fairly soon – although it would be reasonable to surmise that it will be politically motivated rather than heart-felt.