“beaten to death by persons who were or are members of the Provisional IRA..”

The Quinn Support Group had previously announced that the family of Paul Quinn would be meeting with leaders of political parties, except for Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams, and last night Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny did just that. The Irish Times has some of his comments after the meeting [subs req], and the Irish Examiner has more.

“The death of Robert McCartney in Belfast three years ago was an outrageous and grotesque act. This is actually worse in that the murder of Paul Quinn was premeditated and executed in a manner of military fashion in the style of punishment beatings that were carried out in this area many times during the troubles,” [Enda Kenny] said.

More from the Irish Examiner report

The Quinn family have consistently maintained Paul was killed by the IRA because of a personal feud with one of its members and have rejected claims by senior SF figures that the incident was linked with fuel smuggling.

“Shortly after the murder of Paul Quinn, SF attributed this to criminal activity. There is apparently very strong evidence now Paul was beaten to death by persons who were or are members of the Provisional IRA,” Mr Kenny said.

“I hope in the debate in the Dáil, that the SF party will clarify any remaining doubts about Paul Quinn being deemed a criminal by them which has been clarified by all parties with the exception of SF.”

Joined by local TDs and councillors, Mr Kenny insisted the murder would be the litmus test for the future of the peace agreement. He also took the opportunity to criticise the Taoiseach and Minister for Foreign Affairs for failing to redraw statements alleging Mr Quinn was involved in criminality.

And from the Irish Times report [subs req]

Mr Quinn’s family say the attack was carried out by members of the IRA because of a personal feud between Mr Quinn and a south Armagh republican. Sinn Féin has been alone among nationalist parties in maintaining that it stemmed from a row over fuel-smuggling that was criminal in nature.

Mr Kenny reiterated his view that there was very strong evidence that Mr Quinn was beaten to death by current or former members of the Provisional IRA.

He also said that he will ensure that the murder of Mr Quinn will be debated in the Dáil. “When the Dail resumes we can have a short debate of an hour’s duration where all parties of the House can put on the record their belief that this is truly important in the context of the peace process.”