What’s that all about then…

Sometimes there are things that go on in Stormont that surpass all rational understanding. Slugger hears that the leader of the Sinn Fein party in the Assembly, John O’Dowd, heavily petitioned the Speaker against an SDLP motion on the murder of Paul Quinn because it was not ‘factually based’. Understandable perhaps. But the resulting statement seems less to have addressed that matter, and simply have spun the statement into pettyfogging mush… You can see both below the fold:The original…

“That this Assembly condemns the brutal murder of Paul Quinn; notes the clarification by the two governments that they do not hold the view that the victim was involved in criminality of any kind; further notes the assessments of Sir Hugh Orde and the International Monitoring Commission that current and former members of the Provisional IRA were involved in this crime; and calls upon everyone to encourage people to come forward and assist the police investigations north and south.”

…and the amended version:

“That this Assembly condemns the murder of Mr Paul Quinn; notes the clarification by the British and Irish Governments that they do not hold the view that the victim was involved in criminality of any kind; further notes the assessments of Sir Hugh Orde and the International Monitoring Commission regarding the involvement in this crime of persons who are current or former members of the Provisional IRA, or who have associations with members or former members of the Provisional IRA; and calls upon everyone to encourage people to come forward and assist the police investigations being carried out by the PSNI and an Garda Síochána.”

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  • RepublicanStones

    If people who know anything about this disgusting crime haven’t come forward yet, i really doubt a debate on the hill is going to persuade them otherwise. this i believe the SDLP are well aware of, and so it seems to be more a case of making the Shinners shirt collars a little too tight more than anything else.

  • joeCanuck

    Well I’m no supporter of SF, of course, but it does seem to me that the SDLP were trying to bring politics into this disgusting murder.
    There is a huge difference between “current and former” and “current or former”.
    Shameful the way the death of this young man is being used to further political ends.

  • CS Parnell

    RepublicanStones – don’t talk boll*x. Plenty of people have come forward, not least the poor man’s family. What you mean is nobody has come forward who lets us off the hook. Not the same thing at all.

    When did republicans decide that murder was “disgusting” anyway? Gerry wasn’t so squeamish when he was burning the collie owners to death.

  • Twinbrook

    The killers of this man need to be found and found quickly….

    But the hypocrisy of the SDLP is sickening…using the death of this young man to try and further their cause in South Down…

    Do they think the electorate is that stupid!

  • John O’Connell

    I think it is safe to suggest that John O’Dowd is a little nervous of the Quinn murder and its ramifications for Sinn Fein and that is why he is getting very Pharisitical about the language used.

  • Mark McGregor

    I remember when SF used to reject the very legitimacy of the IMC, now the battle is over quoting them correctly.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Twinbrook,

    How is it hypocritical? It’s not like the SDLP ever killed anyone.

  • CS Parnell

    Twinbrook, why is it hypocrisy of the SDLP when the boys cover West Belfast in posters about collusion? Are only some murders worthy of political comment (ie the ones committed by the Brits and their agents: NB not their agents inside the Ra)

  • perci

    There is nothing shameful or hypocritical about raising this issue by the SDLP or anyone else; we want this murder machine stopped, by any legal means necessary.
    The usual suspects on here crying foul are simply trying to cover their embarrassment with fig-leafs.
    Most of us are not fooled by their fake outrage.

  • John O’Connell

    Well said, Perci.

  • Bemused

    Completely off topic – but had anyone else heard about this –

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/mainframe.shtml?http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/ulster_aod.shtml?ulster/gmu

    one hour twelve minutes and thirty seconds into the broadcast Jim Rodgers says one of the most outrageous and offensive things in local political history – a truly spectacular half-wit – surely this berk should now be hounded out of public life?!?!?!?!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Having been apalled at SF’s attitude to this, the SDLP seem to have contrived to try and get some negative publicity out of this themselves. But the bigger picure remains, namely the commonsense conclusion that this could not have taken place in the area, and been performed in this manner, without the knowledge of ‘republicans’ of one hue or another. Conor Murphy trying to do a Widgery ( ie blame him for his own murder) only adds weight to this conclusion.

  • joeCanuck

    Hope you aren’t referring to me, Perci (I used the word shameful).
    This murder does need to kept kept in the headlines, by anyone and everyone, but it shouldn’t be used for politicking.

  • harry

    Do they think the electorate is that stupid!

    Posted by Twinbrook on Feb 14, 2008 @ 07:24 PM

    i wonder what impact the quinn murder will have on the sf vote in south armagh? they have already lost all my families’ vote

  • Mark McGregor

    Bemused,

    It does sound horrendous but I’d accept Jim’s apology and terrible slip of the tongue excuse on face value. I know he has been a supportive advocate of disability rights throughout his term and beyond. Hell, he’s one of the few gentlemen on that council.

    Sometimes people just make a stupid balls up of language.

  • John O’Connell

    Harry, Sinn Fein are losing ground to the SDLP in a big way in South Armagh. It’ll be interesting to see if Conor Murphy keeps his Assembly seat, nerver mind the Westminster one.

    But Dominic Bradley is doing exactly what he is supposed to do as a rep, represent a murdered constituent’s family and the Cosa Nostra don’t like it one little bit.

    Can any serious person sincerely vote Sinn Fein now?

  • perci

    thanks john,
    Th only way to change things is if people keep speaking out and keep supporting the Quinn Support Group. I
    There’s more on the exchanges between SDLP and SF here:
    http://www.newrydemocrat.com/news/story/?trs=idqlauau&cat=news

    Its a well-polished lie that alls sweet and rosy in the SA garden;
    no-ones afraid and no-one gets threatened.
    A hopeless line for SF to take; burying their heads in the sand; and what a betrayal of their community who voted for them and really do want to move on.

  • New Yorker

    SF is doing everything it can to protect the murderers. Why aren’t they joining forces with SDLP to bring the guilty to justice? It is the responsibility of good politicians to look after the wellbeing of their constituents not protect murderers. Does John O’Dowd have a reason why he wanted the textual changes? Meanwhile it’s coming up on four months since the murder and the killers are still on the loose when they should be on the noose.

  • joeCanuck

    New Yorker,

    The original motion said that, according to the CC and the IMC, current and former members of the IRA were involved; i.e. current members were involved. Since, as I understand it, the only current members are members of the “Army Council”, it’s easy to see why SF would object.
    Hopefully truth will out eventually.

  • Rory

    It is wrong to suppose that the SDLP are being hypocritical in this matter. They are not. Hypocrisy at least implies a former commitment to some ideal that was then abandoned. The SDLP can never be accused of being ever wedded to an ideal other than the latest self-serving opportunity.

    They are being opportunistic. They cannot help it. It is in their very nature. Opportunism is what motivated their very foundation and is the only passion that drives them. They are best ignored.

  • John O’Connell

    Rory

    Better an opportunist, if that’s how you regard mainstream idealists like John Hume, than a murderer.

  • New Yorker

    Rory

    Try addressing the key question: Should SF be protecting murderers or looking after their constituents?

  • New Yorker

    Joe Canuck

    I believe what Paul Quinn’s parents say and stand by – the Provos murdered their son. And most people in the area would agree with them. The provo murderers do not follow Roberts’ Rules of Order, they are a bunch of slimy thugs. O’Dowd is trying to work out weasel words but he fools no one because, as Quinn’s parents, say the provos – ‘friends’ of SF – organized and committed the slaughter of their son. It is high time for SF to come fully clean on this murder and help put the killers behind bars – or say it is not possible for them to do so.

  • joeCanuck

    Might want to reword that, New Yorker.
    Protecting murderers (if indeed true) may be looking after (some of) their constituents.

  • brendan,belfast

    I find it sickenly funny when provo supporters accuse the SDLP of hypocrisy on absolutely any matter, never mind their respective positions on murder and violence.

  • lib2016

    The SDLP used to have a bit of class, as much as any political party can hold onto and stay alive in the real world. It’s a bad mistake to throw it out now unless that deal with Fianna Fail is further along than we thought. They will lose the rest of the original idealistic support for even trying and they still have to fight it out with Alliance for a relatively small business man’s vote elsewhere.

    Is it a sign of panic or has anyone properly worked this one out? The ‘post-nationalist’ experiment wasn’t tried out properly and led to further isolation and even worse, becoming identified with forces opposed to the local community. It might suit Newry and parts of Co. Down but can the SDLP afford to lose more votes in South Armagh and the West at this stage?

  • lib2016

    The SDLP used to have a bit of class, as much as any political party can hold onto and stay alive in the real world. It’s a bad mistake to throw it out now unless that deal with Fianna Fail is further along than we thought. They will lose the rest of the original idealistic support for even trying and they still have to fight it out with Alliance for a relatively small business man’s vote elsewhere.

    Is it a sign of panic or has anyone properly worked this one out? The ‘post-nationalist’ experiment wasn’t tried out properly and led to further isolation and even worse, becoming identified with forces opposed to the local community. It might suit Newry and parts of Co. Down but can the SDLP afford to lose more votes in South Armagh and the West at this stage?

  • CS Parnell

    They are being opportunistic. They cannot help it. It is in their very nature. Opportunism is what motivated their very foundation and is the only passion that drives them. They are best ignored.

    Holy feck. From the boys that gave you “not a bullet, not an ounce” that is some brass neck.

  • joeCanuck

    That’s twice today that your post has been duplicated, lib.
    I had a virus a few years ago that did that to all my emails. Might want to check.

  • lib2016

    My apologies for double post, Please remove.

  • CS Parnell

    The ‘post-nationalist’ experiment wasn’t tried out properly and led to further isolation and even worse, becoming identified with forces opposed to the local community.

    The old lies are the best ones, eh lib2016?

    Good to see that you fellahs picked up more than the guns from Herr Goebbels when Sean Russell got on der unterzee boot.

    For the record: the SDLP has never described itself as “post-nationalist”. John Hume once made a speech where he said we live in “an increasingly post-nationalist Europe”. Of course, as that is a fact, the boyos have some difficulty dealing with it.

    Just think of Gerry “I’ve never been in the IRA” Adams and you get the picture.

  • Twinbrook

    off course the sdlp are using a families grief as a political tool….

    now remind me when the sdlp highlighted the grief and suffering of the families of those young Catholics murdered in North Belfast….

    where was their campaign of outrage about the murder of Lisa Dorrian or what about the two men murdered by the RIRA last year in West Belfast!!!!

    No political mileage there?

    As the the sdlp gaining any seats at SF`s expense in ANY part of Armagh…..

    Not in the real world I`m afraid…

    The real people in the real world outside the confines of the T`internet and this very very small site……

    aren`t stupid and frankly don`t read this site or frankly gave a toss for all the T`internet lurkers and warriors who feign disgust only when it suits their politics….

  • Mark McGregor

    Parnell,

    Tom Kelly while a senior member of the SDLP admitted the electorate ‘wasn’t ready’ for their ‘post-nationalist’ message.

  • Mark McGregor

    To get back on topic.

    For those complaining the SDLP are making political advantage out of supporting the family of the victim…why can’t SF make political advantage too? Who is stopping SF from benefiting or attempting to benefit like they claim the SDLP are?

  • harry

    for some one who distains the keyboard warriors, twinbrook, you are on the the old t’internet a fair bit yourself.

  • aquifer

    Keep this up and the SDLP will save the next Paul Quinn. Thanks brave patriots.

  • New Yorker

    Mark McGregor

    You said: “why can’t SF make political advantage too? Who is stopping SF from benefiting or attempting to benefit like they claim the SDLP are?” Exactly. But the political benefit is not primary, catching the killers and putting them behind bars should be the main motivation but there would probably follow a political benefit for SF. It would be the right thing to do and there might be a political benefit, so why aren’t SF stepping up? On the face of it, it does not make sense. Can anyone explain why SF seem to be protecting the murderers rather than helping to bring them to justice? We must be missing something, perhaps others could enlighten us.

  • URQUHART

    But the hypocrisy of the SDLP is sickening…using the death of this young man to try and further their cause in South Down…

    Do they think the electorate is that stupid!

    Posted by Twinbrook on Feb 14, 2008 @ 07:24 PM

    What a clown.

    I don’t suppose Twinbrook has any idea of the irony of this post.

  • RepublicanStones

    CS Parnell it seems you favour your namesakes methods used in the commons.

    If you think a debate on a motion tabled in stormont is going to persuade those who know anything to come forward if they haven’t already done so, then it is you sir, who is talking the verbal diarrhoea.

  • Slieve Gullion

    From the moment Briege and Stephen Quinn said they believed their son had been abducted and killed by the Provisional IRA, the family and all who were close to them have been subjected to a political onslaught from Sinn Fein and their supporters. Why? Vicious lies were told about their son, locally and on the airwages. Fairy stories were told about smuggler gangs. Why? All sorts of red herrings and diversions were dragged in – Jim McAllister’s politics, Dominic Bradley’s politics, imaginary Provo victims and Quinn-inspired intimidation. Why? What was Sinn Fein’s political interest in this? Why did they put themselves in the impossible situation of having to stand over such obvious lies? Why did they deliberately put themselves on the wrong side of such a clear moral issue? Why did they attack the victim and his family? When the murder happened, not everyone believed he had been killed by Provos. Now everyone is absolutely convinced – the last doubters looked at the contortions of Conor Murphy and particularly the ludicrious accusations against the dead lad, and concluded it had to be Provos. Only someone with real, serious leverage over Conor could have got him to go against his own political interests in this way. One result of the Quinn campaign is that the spotlight is now on underlying Provo community control as never before and Sinn Fein’s ambivalence towards it It is also exposing deep local fault lines on policing, with many of the ‘community safety’ groups the Provos set up refusing to accept the new dispensation, despite being heavily loaded with Sinn Fein members. A new one was set up in Rostrevor by the wife of a prominent Provo and the PSNI were not even mentioned at the first meetng. People are openly questioning how come none of these groups has ever mentioned, never mind highlighted, the punishment beatings that have happened and are continuing in the area. Sinn Fein are displaying all the signs of paranoia on the Quinn case, desperately trying to convince people that they are somehow victims in all this, infamy, infamy they’ve all got it infamy. Some of the predictions of political damage are overblown. There is still time for them to do the decent thing towards the family. There is still time for them to say that their support for the police is not conditional on no Provos being picked up and convicted of battering a boy to death.

  • perci

    nice one slieve, the complete picture revealed.

  • get real

    Sinn Fein sold out to the British Government they signed away everything in return for jobs for the boys and ‘power’. They will not let anything get in the way of this and have got themselves into a tight corner over the fact that the murder of Paul Quinn will not disappear despite the usual dirty tricks and whispering that they have become so adept at. No one can speak out against Sinn Fein or their policies without finding themselves a victim of these tactics. They don’t work anymore and people are turning away sickened by them. I would like to know how Conor Murphy joined the psni for the day, questioned suspects and then declared they had no case to answer. He should do what Sinn Fein are so quick to tell everyone else to do and give their names to the psni and let them do their job. It’s the SF usual case of do as I say not as I do.

  • Twinbrook

    “I don’t suppose Twinbrook has any idea of the irony of this post.”

    how very droll from another T`internet warrior….

    by the way when was the last time you went outside?

  • New Yorker

    Slieve Gullion

    I agree with you on the why question – “Only someone with real, serious leverage over Conor could have got him to go against his own political interests in this way.” The provo gangs are still lurking about, a murder here, a beating there, everyone keep your head down. They have firepower and money and SF politicians will do what they are told or else…That also explains the so-called ‘community safety groups’. I wouldn’t hold out too much hope on policing, they are well on their way to corrupting it. Look at the SF locals on the DPPs and who they are close to and do you think they will be looking after the people’s interests before their overlords?

    What type of democracy is this? It’s not, it’s a slightly hidden part of the world presently run by gangsters, murderers and their minions. It is a terrible place for good and decent to live at the moment. A GAA football player recently told me that people are living in more fear and terror then they ever were when the Brits were all over the place.

  • lib2016

    “A GAA football player recently told me that people are living in more fear and terror than they ever were when Brits were all over the place.”

    For years we were solemnly assured that the only reason people voted for Sinn Fein is because they were intimidated into doing so in a secret ballot, and before that it was all about irregularities in the electoral list. This sort of abuse from unionism is getting dafter every year to the point where it repels their own people.

    Sinn Fein cannot be more definite about condemning criminality and backing the police. There aren’t any weasel words from them justifying murder nor should there be. The people behind the SDLP campaign on the other hand are openly in partnership with dissidents who oppose the Peace Process and the people who will be quickest to see it will be their own communities.

    Opposition? This isn’t about trying to form a moderate opposition against SF but simply opposition for it’s own sake. It’s pointless and pathetic.

  • New Yorker

    lib2016

    By protecting murderers, intimidating the community and being the lackeys of gangsters, SF has proven it does not have democratic credentials. It is time for them to be banished from legitimate politics and let the qualified democrats get on with government. They had their chance and they blew it.

  • lib2016

    If I believed that Sinn Fein were doing such a thing I would agree with you at once that they have no future in NI. Unfortunately none of us have the definitive answer at the moment but the people as a whole will give their verdict.

    Given all the abuse Ruaine has been enduring recently the relatively few nationalist electors in North Down seem to giving them the benefit of the doubt, despite the SDLP being in the lucky position of having the popular O’Grady handing over to Ritchie who has had a good populist issue to kick her career off.

    My experience is that the nationalist community in the Dromore area plays their cards very close to the chest. If we’re already getting hints that they have chosen Sinn Fein it means real committment.

    South Armagh is much closer to the republican core. If the SDLP can’t subvert SF in North Down they have no chance in Armagh.

  • Mick Fealty

    South or North Down lib?

  • New Yorker

    lib2016

    You said: “If I believed that Sinn Fein were doing such a thing I would agree with you at once that they have no future in NI. Unfortunately none of us have the definitive answer at the moment but the people as a whole will give their verdict.” Glad to read your first sentence. But I do not agree entirely with your second sentence. Those who gave authority to Stormont and, to some extent, those in Stormont have the right to set the rules and judge credentials of parties in government. They would be within their rights to say to SF something like ‘you still have not fully disengaged yourselves from violence and terror and that is the minimum requirement to be in government.’

    Who knows how the local politics will play out? It would be good to see some independents (non affiliated) emerge; people not tainted with the problems of the past and with a new vision for their areas.

  • Slieve Gullion

    lib2016, from where do you get the notion that the SDLP or anyone else is trying to subvert Sinn Fein in the Quinn case? This is paranoid nonsense. Sinn Fein told a pack of lies about Paul and everyone is attacking them for that – but only for that. At no point has the Quinn campaign been used for any sort of wider attack, in fact their public meetings have specifically acknowledged support from individual Sinn Fein members and encouraged official engagement with their committtee. From what I have seen the SDLP in South Armagh is simply reflecting that reality. They are not creating it, indeed I seriously doubt they would have the ability or capacity to do so. They are no doubt gaining some electoral advantage from saying what everyone else is thinking and knows to be true about Paul’s murder and the Sinn Fein cover-up. You seem to overlook the obvious aspect of all this – the SDLP is telling the truth, the same truth that the Quinn family is telling, and Sinn Fein is telling lies and everyone knows they are telling lies. They don’t have to, nobody is forcing them. They didn’t have to say anything at all about the murder. they could have said ‘support the police’ and left it that. they could even have said they were pretty sure republicans could not be involved. But no, Conor Murphy dug his own hole and every week or so he digs it deeper. Dominic Bradley didn’t dig the hole, Jim McAllister didn’t dig it. The ‘openly in partnership with dissidents’ piece also shows tinges of paranoia. it is nonsense (and for the record McAllister calls himself a dissenter), they just both happen to actively support the Quinn family’s campaign, as do a long list of parties including FF, FG and Labour in the south and Alliance in the north. How does this constitute an anti-Sinn Fein partnership? And what is to stop Sinn Fein joining it anyway? The next stage in your paranoia might lead you to conclude that the SDLP killed Paul just to make Sinn Fein look bad.