Stormont motion demands disclosure of information on Paul Quinn murder

December 1, 2014

The Northern Ireland Assembly has demanded that the leadership of the Provisional IRA disclose all information to the police about the murder of Paul Quinn seven years ago, after a motion proposed last week by the SDLP, was passed by 64 votes to 24 votes.

The motion was tabled by Newry and Armagh SDLP assembly member Dominic Bradley on the seventh anniversary of Mr Quinn’s murder. Mr Bradley said he had done so to support the Quinn family in their search for answers about their son’s death.

Sinn Féin leaders were condemned in the motion for what it referred to as “false accusations against Paul Quinn” and an apology was demanded from the party to the Quinn family.

The 21 year old from Cullyhanna was beaten to death by a large group of men after he was lured to farm buildings just across the border in Castleblayney, County Monaghan in 2007. Having been led there on the pretext of work, Paul and his accompanying friend were confronted by a gang of masked men.  Paul was separated from his friend and viciously beaten.  He died hours later in hospital in Drogheda.

His family said Mr Quinn had been involved in a dispute with individual members of the IRA and blame the IRA for their son’s murder.

Sinn Féin has always denied any republican involvement in the death and said the murder was the result of a dispute between criminal gangs.

According to Mr Bradley, the unsubstantiated accusation that Paul Quinn was a criminal, “added salt to an already deep wound inflicted on the Quinn family.”

“Sinn Fein speakers have the opportunity to withdraw that vile accusation here today and stop the cover-up of Paul Quinn’s murder, he said.

Although Sinn Fein voted against the matter, Newry and Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan urged those with information on the murder to pass it to the PSNI or Gardai.

Commenting on the Stormont motion, Mr Boylan said it had been constricted by the SDLP “in a manner that purposefully sets out to be as divisive and inflammatory as possible.” He said the motion had “less to do with helping the Quinn family uncover the truth of what happened to their son and is more concerned with trying to fashion some sort of political point scoring exercise.”

Speaking at Stormont, Mr Quinn’s mother was asked if she knew who had murdered her son.

“I’ve a good idea,” she replied before asking Sinn Fein to go to the garda stations in Carrickmacross and Castleblayney “and give the names of those that murdered my son.”

Mr Bradley said his motion noted that a paramilitary activity watchdog, the Independent Monitoring Commission, had stated “that current and former members of the Provisional IRA were responsible for Paul’s murder”.