“There was no organisation specified by the PSNI..”

From the various reports, amid claims of false information being given to the investigating team, it seems that all concerned are in agreement that there has been a threat made against at least one of the main witnesses to the killing of Paul Quinn – as reported in Sunday’s Observer. Although they don’t agree on who was responsible.. for the threat, that is – naturally enough. Adds The UTV report, linked above, has been updated.

Sean Woodward told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee: “I was aware of those press reports and the stories that were circulating before they were published in the newspapers over the weekend. “The Chief Constable (of the Police Service of Northern Ireland) takes those things very seriously.”

From the BBC report

Mr Quinn, 21, from Cullyhanna, died after being attacked and beaten at a shed near Castleblaney in October.

His father, Stephen, said the family were worried about a threat against the witness. SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley said the IRA was responsible.

However, Mr Murphy said mainstream republicans were not involved.

“More than two weeks ago, the police visited this family. We made contact with this young man’s family. We became aware that the threat to him didn’t pertain from any organisation whatsoever,” Mr Murphy said.

“There was no organisation specified by the PSNI. We offer our full support to the family.”

As I might have mentioned before..

“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.”

, , , , ,

  • perci

    What is the witness protection scheme available in situations like this?

    Is it different in the North/South of Ireland.?

    Or is it that a case has to be made first, in other words: arrests and charges made; before a potential witness can be offered protection?

    Perhaps this is why somebody wants to get rid of this guy; as his evidence could play a very significant part in a potential case.

    I do hope the Police move swiftly, and redouble their efforts.
    Time could be running out for this guy!

  • Lurker

    Why is Woodward being coy? Does he seriously expect people to believe that he is only aware of this threat through having read about it in the papers and that he can only divine the Chief Con’s thinking by listening to the media.
    If he hasn’t asked Orde for more info, why not? Does he not want it? Would it be too hot to handle?
    Unctuous daft bastard seems to think we’re all as stupid as he’d like to be himself.

  • harry

    did conor murphy meet with the PIRA this time?

    i mean, we do rely on our minster to let us know if the IRA they have or have not murdered any one?

    well conor, did the IRA issue this death threat?

  • perci

    At least there’s some good news today, and that is the McCartney murder trial dates are set for April-17th or May-12th:
    http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0130/breaking75.htm

  • Twinbrook

    its a pity the family of lisa dorrian and the family of that young school kid murdered in north belfast, didn`t get the same amount of media attention and support/help from the likes of the sdlp,psni,american government,etc!

  • ulsterfan

    Twinbrook
    I agree wholeheartedly with you on the support required in the case of Lisa Dorrian and all others whose families are left to grieve.
    The murderers of Paul Quinn must be brought to justice and by introducing other cases you might leave yourself open to the suggestion of trying to shift the focus away from the Quinn murder. SF must withdraw the allegation of any criminal involvement by this young man as there is no evidence to support these allegations. This only adds to the suffering of the family.

  • Twinbrook

    ulsterfan….

    I believe SF have already distanced themselves from that remark and called for any information to be given to the psni.

    Also isn`t it time that the sdlp stopped using the grief of families to further their political agenda?

  • Peter Brown

    After all it only took 30 years for SF/IRA to stop creating grief for families to further their political agenda

  • ulsterfan

    Twinbrook
    I don’t think SF have indeed distanced themselves from this outrageous allegation.
    They still hold on to their original statement saying nothing has changed they are only prolonging the agony.

  • Turgon

    Of course the claims from SF that the IRA was not behind any death threat are entirely unsurprising, one would expect no different of them. That Sean Woodward will not comment on the organisation is also typical.

    Of course no one can say the IRA was behind the intimidation. If by some chance someone were to believe that the IRA were behind threatening this witness then one might conclude that there was corporate IRA involvement not only in this threat but also in Mr. Quinn’s murder.

    The spinning and lying will go on in the hope that all this will gradually die away and there will be no wider repercussions in Northern Ireland. the fact that that may well also mean justice is denied to Mr. Quinn’s relatives will be of no importance to Mr. Woodward or any of our political masters.

  • sceolaing

    S.F. have not distanced themselves from Murphy’s claim of criminality, indeed, this morning Murphy copperfastened the allegation or radio Ulster. S.F.is the only party left making this claim. Murphy has ensured that the Quinn family will not meet the S.F. leadership, maybe this is what S.F. actually wants!!
    On the death threat, few people in sth Armagh are in any doubt that it came from the Provisional I.R.A., either as a serious threat or in attempt to split off support from the Quinn family.

  • perci

    Turgon
    Belief is not enough, the police need hard evidence to put the killers away.
    That’s why I asked can’t this kid be taken into witness protection?
    Is it because, as yet there have been no charges made?

  • Twinbrook

    I see that that the sdlp press office on busy on here tonight!!!

    SF/IRA…blah blah, my daddies bigger than yours…thats the only reply to that childish rant…

    back to the stoopies sorry the south derry party…

    off course they wouldn`t try and use the grief of any family to score sordid political points…

    Stop SF/DUP…
    What ever happened to durkand lollipop..

  • “few people in sth Armagh are in any doubt that it came from the Provisional I.R.A.”

    Says who? When did you become the spokesperson for the South Armagh people?

    Let me remind you that it is Sinn Féin who overwhelmingly represent the people of South Armagh! Not Jim McAllister, not the stoops and not you.

  • Quagmire

    Typical of the stoops really. I agree entirely with you Twimbrook. Anything to have a pop at the Republican movement .I think this is the lowest they have ever stooped thus far, attempting to make political capital out of this young mans death. The reason why they were not as vocal in previous times i.e. the Lisa Dorrian case, is because it was not politically expedient to do so. Sick really. People like Ulsterfan keep saying that Sinn Fein should remove their remarks about Paul Quinn being a criminal as there is no evidence to support it and if thats the case, using the same logic, stop blaming Republicans for this murder as there is no evidence to support this claim. That is all!

  • perci

    err quagmire,twinbrook the story here is about a witness, and a threat to a witness, who may or may not be able to provide vital evidence or clues to the prosecution.
    It might be a good idea to concentrate minds on that, and leave aside the politiking.

  • red branch

    Quick lads, smokecreen quick, make the story the SDLp and not the murder of Paul Quinn, throw in a few loyalists murders too so we can stand on the immoral high ground!

    The story remains, was the Provos involved in the murder of Paul Quinn? did the PSNI deliver a notice to a witness saying the Provos have a threat out against him? if so what are the politicians in the DUP and Sinn fein going to do about it?

    Its about time we, all of us, started to focus on what is currently happening here, a young man was beatenn to death, I believe unintentionally. There is a strong belief in society that the IRA were involved. That organistaion still exists, and Sinn Fein, the political party so inextricably linked to them that no one pretends otherwise now, are in Government, hoping to have powers of policing and justice devloved.

    Now if all of this is true and the provos were involved and are threatening witnesses, then Sinn fein has to decide are they serious about politics and power or they going to continue this twilight existance of politics by day in Belfast while their associates continue their nefarious acts by night in South Armagh. Its gotta be sorted. Sinn fein must give a real lead and dilver the evidence to the PSNI that leads to convictions, the IRA in South Armagh must be disbanded and Sinn fein must demonstrate they have put their house back in order.

    Otherwise the other political parties must take action against Sinn Fein. personally I’d give Sinn Fein time to sort this out but the current reality is that form the dogs in the street even to twinbrook everyone knows the Provos were involved and Adams et al are very embarassed. But time is running out and the onger they persist with the “criminals” claims and the self denial the more imperative it will become for the other parties to act!

  • perci

    red branch,
    exactly so. Indeed there is a way SF can handle this and come out smelling of roses, and win support.
    They’d have to be brave soldiers and show strong leadership on morality.

    Not holding my breath though;
    cue–it would appear they want to go down fighting on this one;
    cue– which will mean having their asses whipped, cue– rolling around in the ecstasy of oppression; cue–getting dragged kicking and screaming into the new realities
    cue–that their vicious gang of law-enforcers are now surplus to requirements.

    we’ve been here time and time again in the peace process with ceasefies…decomissioning… support for the rule of law; yet they will not learn the lesson.

    They are their own worst enemy.

    Its that simple!

  • “was the Provos involved in the murder of Paul Quinn?”

    No! Not a single piece of evidence has been produced to link the IRA to the murder of Paul Quinn.

    “did the PSNI deliver a notice to a witness saying the Provos have a threat out against him?”

    No! No group was specified by the PSNI when they contacted said person.

    “if so what are the politicians in the DUP and Sinn fein going to do about it? ”

    Nothing, it is the job of the police to investigate this lads murder. Both Sinn Féin and the DUP have called on anyone with any information to come forward and go to the police.

    What else would you ask of them?

    “There is a strong belief in society that the IRA were involved”

    So? Last time I checked a “strong belief” wasn’t evidence. Here say, nothing more!

    “Sinn fein must give a real lead and dilver the evidence to the PSNI that leads to convictions”

    What utter nonsense! Sinn Féin must not get involved in any of the police investigations because they are a political party and not a police service.

    Have you made the same call in relation to the SDLP, UUP or the DUP????

    I have never seen so much nonsense written is such a short space of time.

  • Turgon

    Mr. Gaskin,
    A great amount of the nonsense on this issue has emanated from Sinn Fein with their attempts to paint Mr. Quinn as a criminal and I am afraid your own web site repeated that accusation.

  • New Yorker

    It is reasonable to think the threat came from those who are apprehensive about testimony from this eye witness. It is also reasonable to believe the provos committed the murder. I believe Mr. Quinn about who the murderers are and who delivered the threat, rather than provo apologists who do not have a good record of telling the truth.

    This might indicate the murderous gang are getting nervous. Perhaps they have sensed the investigation is making headway and the cops are really serious this time. A glimpse of the noose makes people do desperate things.

    Why is Conor Murphy saying anything? A smart person in his position would keep his mouth shut, yet here again he is defending the provos. Why is that? One would expect him to have more nous than schoolboy revolutionaries. So why does he again defend the provos when every reasonable person believes he is spouting more BS?

  • RepublicanStones

    Twinbrook, the name of the young child stabbed to death in north belfast is Thomas Devlin. the reason the media and government won’t put pressure or expend as much effort on those responsible is because those responsible are not anti-british state or a threat to the electorate of other nationalist irish parties. plain and simple.

  • Turgon

    I must have missed that wee bit of information when you told us that you were from South Armagh? The bit where your information wasn’t based on newspapers and the TV?

    Mr Lambe is even more removed in New York

    I notice that not a single one of you can refute what I have said, straw men arguments is the height of your debate.

  • susan

    Chris, I have questions for you, too.

    Before his murder, Paul Quinn told his father he had been ordered to leave the country by PIRA. Three alternatives come to mind:

    1.) Paul Quinn was ordered to leave the country by PIRA;
    2.) Paul Quinn was ordered to leave the country by individuals pretending to be members of PIRA (and able to fool an innocent intermediary known to Paul Quinn that they were members of PIRA, convincing that intermediary to warn Paul Quinn he was under a PIRA exclusion order);

    or

    3.) Paul Quinn pretended to his own father and close friends he was under a PIRA exclusion order, for unknown motive, or on the off chance that if he was ever beaten to death by a highly organised gang sensitive to the use of forensive evidence in criminal prosecutions, PIRA would be blamed for it in the courts of political and public opinion.

    In the reportings of this murder, the friend who accompanied Paul in the car to — they thought — muck out the barn in Tullycoora said that when he saw masked men in boiler suits he yelled at Paul Quinn that he “better run.” I don’t know about you, Chris, but confronted by masked men in boiler suits, my first thought would be “I better run” — unless I had prior knowledge my companion(s) were under threat, and I was not.

    The Quinn family and the Quinn Support Group have repeatedly stated their belief that the intent of the beating was not to murder Paul Quinn, but rather to maim or cripple him. Given the choice of weapons — no guns, no knives — and the systematic way the beating was delivered, murder, or at least murder alone, was clearly not the motive. Paul Quinn murdered under the circumstances and location of his death is an inevitable political scandal that may yet become a crisis; Paul Quinn left in a wheelchair would have been a ripple in a small pond, then gone. But it would have reinforced the potency and “bite” of exclusion orders, either by PIRA or, presumably, what you must believe to be a criminal gang impersonating PIRA.

    Chris, do you believe that there is a criminal gang in South Armagh that deliberately fooled Paul Quinn into believing he was under an exclusion order from PIRA? And given early reported witness reports that the masked men who administered the beating were acting under command and took pains to remove forensic evidence, it must have occurred to Conor Murphy, no less than anyone else, that the murderers’ actions were consistent with those with either paramilitary or military experience and training.

    One what, or whose, evidence did Conor Murphy state so quickly and unequivocally that “no republicans” were involved? “No republicans” rules out not only PIRA, but former PIRA members and dissident republicans as well. That leaves loyalists and criminals as suspects. If Murphy was so sure Quinn was a victim of criminals, why accuse the murdered man himself of criminality so early and so often? If Ian Paisley had described the late Michael McIlveen of Ballymena in the terms Conor Murphy used against Paul Quinn of Cullyhanna, what would the the public and political reaction have been? Outrage. Revulsion. Shock. Demands for Paisley’s resignation. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    You are right, Chris, criminal investigations should be conducted by police services, not political parties. SF represent the overwhelming majority of the residents of South Armagh, the elected representatives of the Quinns, the Nugents, the Treanors and so many more. Why then, in the aftermath of the horrific murder of his constituent, did Murphy make public statements more fitting to a PIRA spokesman than to the MP of a murder victim?

    The Quinn family immediately voiced suspicions of PIRA because of their knowledge of what they believed was an exclusion order against Paul from Quinn. Doesn’t mean they are right. But where is Murphy’s, or SF’s, statement on exclusion orders in general, or the specific charge that one of his constituents was ordered to leave the “country” by PIRA, or criminals pretending to be PIRA? Why did Murphy completely sidestep the question of exclusion orders, but rush to identify his own murdered constituent as a criminal and publically eliminate any and all republicans from the pool of suspects in the earliest initial stages of the police investigation, when it was most crucial that any and all witnesses and members of the public with possible information come forward?

  • RepublicanStones

    i may have missed it, but was there a link for the anniversary of Bloody Sunday?

    if not why not?

  • perci

    Chris,

    Couple of refutations.

    Why if SF are not to be involved in police investigations did they become involved in police investigations by
    a) commenting on the particulars of the crime
    with regards to
    b) accusing paul quinn of criminality, having no evidence to back that up.
    c) exonerating republicans of any involvement, which is itself a strawman, as you can’t prove a negative?

  • Susan

    That’s a lot of questions! I will try to answer them as clearly as possible and to the best of my knowledge.

    “Chris, do you believe that there is a criminal gang in South Armagh that deliberately fooled Paul Quinn into believing he was under an exclusion order from PIRA?”

    The simple answer is that I don’t know, if I did know I would have already brought that information to the police.

    Do I think there are criminal gangs in South Armagh capable of such an action? Yes

    Do I think there are criminal gangs in South Armagh made up of former members of the IRA? Of course, look at the murder of Vol Keith Rodgers as an example.

    “And given early reported witness reports that the masked men who administered the beating were acting under command and took pains to remove forensic evidence, it must have occurred to Conor Murphy, no less than anyone else, that the murderers’ actions were consistent with those with either paramilitary or military experience and training.”

    Given the nature of South Armagh that would not be unusual.

    I don’t know if you are from South Armagh however I don’t believe that you are (I am open to correction).

    You would be surprised, perhaps you wouldn’t, at the amount of people in South Armagh who were once in the South Armagh Brigade of the IRA. I’m thinking of the 70’s and early 80’s when the IRA literally had to turn people away.

    A large number of these people no longer have any connection to the Republican Movement, a large number in fact have used their training and knowledge to further their own criminal activities.

    Military knowledge is not a huge indicator of guilt when it comes to South Armagh.

    “One what, or whose, evidence did Conor Murphy state so quickly and unequivocally that “no republicans” were involved?”

    That has already been made clear by Conor, he spoke to the IRA.

    “No republicans” rules out not only PIRA, but former PIRA members and dissident republicans as well.”

    No it does not, No Republican involvement means that no member of the Republican Movement i.e. Sinn Féin or the IRA was involved.

    Neither the IRA nor Sinn Féin can speak or would seek to speak for either former members or dissidents.

    “If Murphy was so sure Quinn was a victim of criminals, why accuse the murdered man himself of criminality so early and so often?”

    Conor was asked questions by members of the press and he answered them. Some people then got upset by those answers and claimed he was a liar. Conor, quite rightly, has stood by what he has said because it is true. To do otherwise would be wrong, politically expedient and dishonest.

    “If Ian Paisley had described the late Michael McIlveen of Ballymena in the terms Conor Murphy used against Paul Quinn of Cullyhanna, what would the the public and political reaction have been?”

    Paul Quinn and Michael McIlveen were two very different people. No two situations are the same and no two murders are the same.

    “Why then, in the aftermath of the horrific murder of his constituent, did Murphy make public statements more fitting to a PIRA spokesman than to the MP of a murder victim?”

    Conor spoke the truth to the best of his knowledge. Being a political leader means that you have to take difficult decisions, decisions that are going to upset people but he was elected to make hard decisions.

    That aside, you are making it sound like he didn’t care about the murder of Paul Quinn. He has condemned it at every turn and urged anyone with any information to bring it to the police.

    What else would you ask of him?

    “But where is Murphy’s, or SF’s, statement on exclusion orders in general, or the specific charge that one of his constituents was ordered to leave the “country” by PIRA, or criminals pretending to be PIRA?”

    The IRA has been stood down therefore the IRA do not make exclusion orders.

    Conor offered to meet the family on a number of occasions, they have refused every invitation.

    Republicans attended the wake at the very start and were then told that they were not welcome and to pass the message on to other republicans.

    Show me a single piece of evidence linking this lads murder to the IRA?

    Show me a single piece of evidence that the IRA has threatened young Nugent?

    I don’t base my opinion on rumours or innuendo, I prefer to see proof.

    I will wait for the conclusion of the Garda investigation.

  • Perci

    (a) They were asked questions by the press and they answered them. Refuting IRA involvement is not getting involved in a police investigation. Gathering evidence would be, that’s the difference.

    (b) Stating that you believe that somebody was killed because of a feud over diesel smuggling does not impinge on a criminal investigation because the person you are speaking off is not a potential suspect and can never be a potential suspect.

    c) You don’t have to prove a negative, he who asserts must prove. It’s the people who are claiming that the IRA were involved that need to prove it.

    I heard for ages before our special Ard Fheis on Policing that Republicans must accept the rule of law and due process. Well, the most fundamental concept within that is “Innocent until proven guilty”

    Why is it that when it comes to Republicans such legal presumptions don’t count

    It’s either the presumption of innocence for all or for none.

    You can’t cherry pick!

  • perci

    ahh chris you’ve slipped up.
    on point b) you used the word “believe”.
    Your whole argument to date has been that “belief” plays no part in matters of law.
    oops!

    Furthermore dishonoring the dead, as in this case, when they have no way of countering is well?
    What would you call it?
    Very hurtful to the family wouldn’t you say?

  • Perci

    What you fail to understand is that what Sinn Féin and other may believe does not identify anyone as a suspect; it does not claim that somebody killed him without evidence; it doesn’t place the presumption of innocence on its head.

    Your belief does!

    As for dishonouring the dead, I believe it was Voltaire who said “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth”

  • perci

    chris,
    bit of a low blow though wasn’t it, the dead man was barely cold?

    New Yorker makes a good point about the “reasonable man”; where its reasonable to assume it was the IRA that did it.

    Are you engaging in “plausible deniability”

    A friend told me, that the basis of english law, is on ” reasonability”, this and precedent, whereas in America the structure is different.

    That goes some way to explaining why in the USA there are so many more lawyers and lawsuits, as their law is not based on what the “reasonable man” would think or do, and so loopholes are continually searched for and found, particularly in company law.
    clumsily put , their law is based on what you can get away with!
    Have you come across this?

  • “chris,
    bit of a low blow though wasn’t it, the dead man was barely cold?”

    Would there ever be a good time?

    “New Yorker makes a good point about the “reasonable man”; where its reasonable to assume it was the IRA that did it.”

    That is not the legal standard in Criminal law perci, it’s “Beyond reasonable doubt”.

    This case has more than enough reasonable doubt

    “A friend told me, that the basis of english law, is on “ reasonability”, this and precedent, whereas in America the structure is different.

    That goes some way to explaining why in the USA there are so many more lawyers and lawsuits, as their law is not based on what the “reasonable man” would think or do, and so loopholes are continually searched for and found, particularly in company law.
    clumsily put , their law is based on what you can get away with!
    Have you come across this?”

    I think you are confusing the evidential standards and burdens in Criminal and Civil law.

    Civil law has a standard of “on the balance of probabilities” while Criminal has a standard of “beyond reasonable doubt”.

    It’s a higher threshold in Criminal because your liberty is at stake

  • “where its reasonable to assume it was the IRA that did it”

    Would you consider it reasonable to accuse someone of something without evidence? I wouldn’t.

  • perci

    “chris,
    bit of a low blow though wasn’t it, the dead man was barely cold?”

    Would there ever be a good time?

    When uttered in the same breath as claiming PIRA didn’t do it, makes one suspicious of the motives behind such a belief.

  • Not really perci, the two were linked

  • perci

    He certainly succeeded in creating that impression.
    The support group have unpicked the first; the police are gathering evidence for the second.

  • perci

    with the alibi gone, conor if left naked

  • susan

    Chris, thank you for answering some of my questions.

    Your statement that “The IRA has been stood down therefore the IRA do not make exclusion orders” is an important one. Where — and this is not a rhetorical question, it is a literal one — where in the wake of the Quinn murder are the public statements clarifying beyond doubt to the public that PIRA no longer issues nor enforces exclusion orders?

    The ceasefires did not bring an end to the issuance or enforcement of all exclusion orders, nor, before or after the conflict, were they used exclusively against “anti-social elements” or “touts” in South Armagh. Inevitably, given, as you say, the large numbers who were once in the South Armagh Brigade and no longer are, through their own choice or someone else’s.

    However, you are not saying exclusion orders ended with the ceasefires, only when the IRA stood down. Well, okay, Chris. Okay. Where are the statements making that clear beyond doubt to the public, in the wake of the QUinn murder? Such statements are relevant to the criminal investigation and to public perception, as well as to the grieving members of the Quinn family.

    On the one hand you say the IRA has “stood down” but on the other hand you say “No Republican involvement means that no member of the Republican Movement i.e. Sinn Féin or the IRA was involved.

    Neither the IRA nor Sinn Féin can speak or would seek to speak for either former members or dissidents.”

    Since PIRA has stood down, are not all members technically now former members?

    Bizarrely, you are asking me for “a single shred of evidence that PIRA threatened Nugent.” I never said PIRA did threaten young Nugent, Chris. I don’t base posts on innuendos or rumours. A courtesy I extend to both the living and the dead, although I am aware, as you are, that only the living can be slandered or libelled. So why are you asking me for evidence in a charge I didn’t make, when both you and Conor Murphy are making public charges of criminality against Paul Quinn without providing public proof? Yes, you will both be criticised for speaking ill of the dead if you provide evidence for your claims, but if the claim of criminality is to be made and repeatedly defended surely there is a responsibility to provide evidence, and not merely innuendo and hearsay?

    I still have no idea if the charges of criminality coming from Murphy (or from you for that matter) concern only which lorries QUinn drove and where, or something more sinister.

  • susan

    I am trying to leave emotions out of this, in favour of rational discussion. Chris Gaskin, I don’t think you, personally, feel less revulsion for the way Paul Quinn was murdered, or the fact that he was murdered, than I do. And the revulsion I feel is overwhelming.

    You say Michael McIlveen and Paul Quinn were “very different people.” How much time did you spend with either of them, Chris? I can’t speak for the person Paul Quinn was because I never spent time with him. I will post the poem he wrote on his bebo site before he died though, a poem that was read out at his funeral mass and was emailed to me by my niece immediately after the funeral, weeks before I ever commented in this forum on the murder. I didn’t comment earlier not because I didn’t care, but because I was still so shocked and because I so dislike trial by blog, of either victims or the accused.

    But still. I can’t speak for Paul, but I can extend him the courtesy of letting his own words speak for him. He wasn’t an angel? Neither am I, neither am I.

    A Poem, by Paul Quinn
    Leave no regrets
    and live no lies.
    In this life
    we are here to survive.
    Breathe no pain
    and don’t hurt pleasure.
    Remember your scars
    they’ll be there forever.
    Think of your future
    its all in tour mind.
    Remember your past
    or it’ll leave you behind.
    Plan ahead
    and please don’t worry.
    Or your life will leave you in a hurry.
    Hold on to your love
    and don’t let it go.
    If you love someone
    let everyone know.
    In this life
    if you want to survive
    you’ll play by the rules.
    There’s no time to hide.
    If you want to be seen
    you’ll have to stand strong.
    Because all these people will tell you your wrong.
    Live your own life
    they don’t have control.
    Stand up for yourself
    or criticism will take its toll.
    Don’t lose your power
    hold on to it tight.
    You’ll need it someday
    to make things right.
    Say your prayers
    and kiss your mom goodnight.
    You’ll need her one day
    so keep her tight.
    The only thing left to say
    is play your own game.
    And when your life ends
    you’ll be left with no shame.

  • Turgon

    susan’s post sums up a great deal of the problem which Mr. Gaskin faces here.

    He complains that there is no proof that the murder of Mr. Quinn was performed by the IRA and as such people should not say that it is.

    However, he repeats the claim that Mr. Quinn was involved in criminality again without any proof.

    If anyone questions the rationale behind this or dares to point out that there may be more grounds to suspect the IRA of this murder than there is to suspect Mr. Quinn of criminality he counters by saying that such people are not from South Armagh and so cannot know.

    This attitude that we know the truth, no one else does and we do not need to answer to anyone is parochial in the extreme. It reminds one of the days of witch burning when local people “knew” which women were witches. It is also particularly ironic from someone who is a member of the legal profession. It is maybe summed up by this quote from him.

    “Would you consider it reasonable to accuse someone of something without evidence? I wouldn’t. ”

    Well what then Mr. Gaskin have you been doing to Mr. Quinn?

  • Ms Wiz

    The evidence so far would suggest Paul Quinn was killed because he stood up to persons linked to PIRA families.

    If it was indeed a falling out among ‘criminals’ as Conor Murphy claims, Paul Quinn wouldn’t have died in the manner he did, battered to death by blokes in boiler suits at a remote outhouse. He would have been shot, simple as. I’m sure there have been many disputes among criminals in south Armagh over the years but I don’t recall any of them ending with a fellah’s body being broken into pieces.

  • perci

    for those interested here are the links to Good Morning Ulster’s coversation with paul quinn’s father, and the minister conor murphy:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/radioulster/gmu/story1.ram
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/radioulster/gmu/story2.ram

  • joeCanuck

    I should imagine that if anything bad were to happen to the witness then that would be the end of the Assembly. No?

  • Ian

    Joe, it depends who was responsible. This thread hasn’t enlightened matters at all. Those who believe PIRA killed Quinn will believe that PIRA issued the latest death threat. But those who believed some other organisation killed Quinn will believe that that same, non-PIRA organisation issued the threat. So we’re none the wiser. And until the police secure a conviction(s), that will remain the case, surely?

  • joeCanuck

    I’m not so sure , Ian.
    The DUP in Government will come under extreme pressure from the grassroots no matter about being innocent before being found guilty, I would imagine.
    That wouldn’t be unusual in our part paranoid society.

  • Ian

    Joe,

    The DUP would be extremely reluctant to pull out. The only way in which their strategy differs from the UUP’s former tactics is that they claim to have got all the issues around IRA activity sorted before they would enter into power-sharing with SF. They attacked Trimble for years for his step-by-step approach.

    If they pull out now, they’ll inevitably have to go back in again ultimately. They might by then have sorted out the disbandment of the Army Council (for which SF will demand a fixed date for devolution of justice matters), but they’ll still be emulating Trimble’s hokey-cokey tactics.

  • Red Diesel

    Chris Gaskin, the PSNI communication specified a threat from ‘republican elements’. Don’t take my word for it, SF Cllr Colman Burns who clearly has had sight of the communication confirmed this on the UTV 6PM news last night. Conor Murphy explicitly said no ‘republicans’ (unqualified by category) were involved. You are demanding a standard of evidence on Provo involvement in Paul Quinn’s murder that you have never applied in your many condemnations of others. People in South Armagh certainly do know which organisation killed Paul, and a lot of people even know the names. And I am from South Armagh as you well know. And if anyone had been in doubt, the actions of known Provos in attempting to hijack Quinn campaign meetings would in itself constitute an interesting piece of circumstancial evidence. You are helping Conor dig his hole deeper.

  • joeCanuck

    Ian,

    I can see your point but don’t forget it cost Trimble in the end. The DUP will have to weigh it all against the possible loss of electoral support. They now too have a party to the right of them, even though untested.
    Turgon might have something to say.

  • Twinbrook

    the simple fact is, on this board as in the small confines in which the sdlp and its daily dwindling supporters find themselves, we seem to find ourselves bombarded by alter-egos who spout the same political mantras based on innuendo and the world of make believe and the back cupboard under the sink!!!!!!
    Its sad, nay, really just a sign of how irrelevant the sdlp have become, that maybe one or two characters masquerade as the “voices” and con tinually attack and demean the Nationalist electorate for turning their backs on that grouping….
    Facts, who needs facts when a desperate small grouping like the sdlp needs “media air”….and off course they will STOOP to whatever lengths and the expense off anyone to get it…

  • New Yorker

    Twinbrook

    You seem to assume nationalist is the same as SF supporter. That is wrong. Nationalist are people who claim to be culturally Irish (usually Catholic). They might vote for SF, SDLP or do not vote. There are a sizable number of Irish nationalists who disapprove, even detest, SF and the provos. Indeed, many Irish nationalists in South Armagh who may have voted SF in the past, will not do so in the future due to the Quinn murder, other activities and the current provo war against the young people of South Armagh. Mr. and Mrs. Quinn are good nationalists and I believe what they say. Do you?

  • susan

    New Yorker, I would not venture to predict what the long term effects in local politics will be. The only prediction I feel confident making is that the Twinbrooks of the world will continue their monosyllabic search for “stoops” — their word, not mine — and then gaze in deep amaze as FF and FG politicians effectively use the Quinn murder and SF’s statements in its aftermath to further isolate, limit and dismantle SF’s dwindling electoral prospects in the South.

    Stepping back, it is like watching the slow, graceful arc of a diver into an empty pool of concrete. Clearly, some political futures may rise and others will come to fall by wayside if no one is ever prosecuted for this murder, but my thoughts are with the young friends and the family of Paul Quinn right now, not with politicians.

  • Red Diesel

    Chris Gaskin makes the tortured point that Conor Murphy did not interfere in a police investigation by refuting IRA involvement. But he did not refute it, not by a long shot, he simply denied it. Nor has Chris or anyone else refuted it since. However, it was more than a denial, because he said he had contacted the local IRA people and received very solid assurances that they were not involved. Now it is a simple fact verified by Gardai and PSNI that those very same local IRA people are suspects in this murder, ergo he has very much interfered in the investigation. Nobody asked him to, he did it under his own bat, so he can take the consequences. And consequences there will be, for Conor Murphy has signed a ministerial pledge of office which leaves no room for consulting terrorist leaders who are suspects in a murder case. he has no business assessing the value or otherwise of these assurances he got, that is a job for the police and he should now tell the PSNI exactly who he talked to. And to get back to the original heart of this thread, the PSNI communication to the potential witness did in fact state very clearly that his life was under threat from republican elements who believed he had given evidence on the Quinn murder to Gardai.