Via The Transcripts Mary Wilson speaks to Breege Quinn via telephone from her home in Cullyhanna, Co. Armagh about her quest for justice for her son, Paul, who was brutally murdered in 2007.
RTÉ Radio One
Mary: In 2007, twenty-one year old Paul Quinn from Cullyhanna in Co. Armagh was murdered in a shed in Co. Monaghan. Nobody has ever been brought to justice for his murder. This weekend Paul’s murder was raised during coverage of the General Election. Now in a moment I’m going to speak to Paul’s mother, Breege. But first, let’s have a listen to Lynn Boylan, the former Sinn Féin MEP (Member of European Parliament), speaking to Brendan O’Connor yesterday about Paul’s murder:
Brendan O'Connor: In the case of Paul Quinn: His mother, Breege, wants answers. Is that a political football or is that a woman who lost her son in awful circumstances and who feels that the Sinn Féin person who is now the Minister for Finance in Northern Ireland said that her son was involved in – that it was gang warfare. Was it? And it has upset that woman for a decade.
Lynn Boylan: And Sinn Féin has condemned the killing of Paul Quinn.
Brendan: Has that statement been retracted? Ever? Because they made a suggestion…
Lynn Boylan: Well Brendan, what I’m saying is: It’s not respectful to families to drag their relatives up every time there is an election.
Brendan: Now Lynn, just let me say: Is it not disrespectful of that woman not to give her the peace of mind she wants to say that your son was not involved in gangland?
Lynn Boylan: What I’m saying is that it’s not respectful to anybody to get into picking one victim or one family because this is what has happened with the peace process in The North is that it’s only about when it’s used to attack Sinn Féin as opposed to actually genuinely really wanting to bringing about easing the hurt of anybody who has lost loved ones during the conflict in The North.
Mary: And that’s the former Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan talking to Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ Radio One yesterday. Breege Quinn, mother of Paul Quinn, Good Afternoon to you and thank you very much for joining us.
Breege: Good Afternoon, Mary. Thank you for taking my call.
|Breege: Breege & Stephen Quinn Photo: The Sun|
Mary: You were listening to that interview, to that exchange yesterday. What was your reaction? I was absolutely disgusted with her. She was saying that me or people like me only come out and attack Sinn Féin when there is an election on. But I would like to tell her my son will be murdered thirteen years coming. I fight for justice day in, day out for Paul. Not only when there is an election.
Mary: I know Lynn Boylan said, she said ‘it’s not respectful to families’, I think they were the words she used, to drag their relatives up every time that there is an election. But it was those words that really hurt you.
Mary: Breege, after you son’s death - and we’re going back now after his murder in 2007 – there was a claim made that your son, Paul, was involved in criminality. Was he involved in criminality?
|Paul Quinn Photo: The Belfast Telegraph|
Breege: My son definitely not involved in criminality – that was Sinn Fein’s spin, that was Conor Murphy’s spin – we have asked him and we have asked Mary Lou (McDonald) to ask him to apologise to us publicly, to tell us who the people were that he spoke to in Cullyhanna because he said he spoke to the IRA in Cullyhanna and they assured him they did not not murder Paul Quinn.
Mary: Breege, can I ask you: Why do you think that these men – and your son was beaten with bars, with iron bars, by up to ten men – there were maybe nine others acting as look-outs – why do you think these men are being protected?
Breege: Because Sinn Féin always protects their own. As I said before about asking Mary Lou to ask Conor Murphy she said that she would ask Conor Murphy to do and say what would bring comfort to the Quinn Family.
Mary: We can hear what Mary Lou McDonald said. She was speaking on the Michael Reade Show on LMFM. Stay with me, Breege, while we just play a clip of what she said and she was asked if Conor Murphy would retract his remarks. Let’s have a listen:
Mary Lou McDonald: I will ask Conor Murphy to say and to do things that give confidence and comfort to the Quinn Family as I would expect of any of our elected reps.
Mary: Now Breege, since Mary Lou McDonald made those comments on LMFM have you had contact from her?
Mary: Have you had any contact from Conor Murphy?
Breege: Not from her. Not from Conor Murphy.
Mary: And have you ever had a face-to-face meeting with Mary Lou McDonald or Conor Murphy?
Breege: No. No.
Mary: Did you seek them?
Breege: No. Until Conor Murphy comes out publicly – because he came out publicly and called Paul a criminal on national television. I want him to come back out on national television and to apologise to us and I want Mary Lou to make sure – she is the leader – that he does it and…
|Suzanne Breen reports|
The Sunday Tribune
28 October 2007
Mary: Do you know the men or do you believe you know the men who killed you son?
Breege: I do, yes. And that young lad that fought with Paul and Paul fought with him, as I’ve often said it, if they had’ve left the children alone they’d probably be friends today.
Mary: And Breege, you know these men. Do you still meet them? Do you meet them as you go about your daily life around Cullyhanna in Co. Armagh?
Breege: Yes. (inaudible)
Mary: Have you ever looked them in the eye and asked them, accused them?
Breege: I did. I did say a few times: I hope you sleep in your bed at night but I would never, never get into a bickering argument with them because I wouldn’t know myself – Sinn Féin can have those murderers in court and in prison. I’ve said and said again: I don’t want them taken to a barn and murdered and beaten up but I do want them in prison. Their parents, their brothers, their sisters can go and visit them – but we can’t visit Paul. And I am saying this evening to people that are going out to vote on Saturday and unless Conor Murphy or Mary Lou McDonald come out publicly and tell us who the IRA were that Conor Murphy spoke to, I’m saying to the people: Remember Paul Quinn when you are marking your ‘x’.
Mary: And that was Breege Quinn, mother of Paul Quinn, speaking to me earlier. Now we asked Sinn Féin to provide a spokesperson this evening; nobody was made available. But the party sent us this statement:
Sinn Féin has unreservedly and consistently condemned the murder of Paul Quinn. The family of Paul Quinn deserve justice and anyone with information on his murder should bring it forward to the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) or An Garda Síochána.
Follow The Transcripts on Twitter @RFETranscripts
This is pathetic and very sad....to use your sons memory to determine an election tends to devalue the family's quest...also brings in to question the partisanship shown by the media and just who's agenda are they pushing...ReplyDelete
I used to have sympathy for them but now I'm apathetic to their plight
may I respectfully suggest you follow the hyperlink '28 October 2007' above. Read the article penned by Suzanne Breen and consider well, both her commentary and that of Jim McAllister. When you've reflected upon it, then perhaps you might review your caustic comments.
If this happened to one of your boys would you not utilise every and any opportunity that might present, to have such scurrilous, unfounded and defamatory remarks about your child, who was after all savagely cudgeled to death, expunged and withdrawn?
Spoken like a true Shinner.
Nothing pathetic about the family - if the DUP beat your child to death would you not challenge them at eclection time to get a result? Yoiu seem to be arguing for political parties to be givena free ride at election time.Delete
The partisanship shown by the media is a different matter from the family's partisanship. It would be a strange family indeed that was not partisan towards their murdered son.
Just finished listening to Breege Quinn this morning on 'Nolan'...She is calling for Mary Lou to stand down/fire Connr MurphyReplyDelete
Well, as Mary Lou McDonald says: “Leaders lead.”ReplyDelete
That’s her excuse for calling Derry “Londonderry” in Derry.
Therefore, she is not a leader or even progressive.
She is just another colonial running for barracks capo.
The fat tit on the three tits Rosie show of Irish conventional politics.
All enforcing Pax Britannia in Ireland and with iron bars if need be.
Since they make a lot of money doing that.
And like all mafias they want to keep it that way.
For themselves alone.
Which is why you need faith in their leadership.
Because no thinking person would ever vote for any of them.
We shall see how many media outlets this is discussed on after the election..
Breege Quinn has every right to draw attention to her plight and that of her family. Through her efforts she has successfully exposed yet another Sinn Féin attempt at cover-up and deceit.
With Conor Murphy's rescinding today of his previous comments she has moved her cause for justice for her son forward. What impact, if any, this will have on Saturday's poll remains to be seen.
Whatever the outcome the Quinn family will have been buoyed by their recent intervention and will, I believe, allow them to continue to get the ear of investigative and political journo's for some time to come.
I personally wish them success with their endeavours.
Pro-Treatyites turn on their former comrades with a vengeance executing more in the Civil War than the British did. In turn the Anti-Treatyites when getting into government turn on their erstwhile comrades with the gallows, firing squads and allowing hunger strikers to die.ReplyDelete
Scroll forward in modern Irish history to Official IRA/Sinn Fein who give up the armed struggle but keep Group B for the purposes of bank robberies and waging feuds against their former comrades-in-arms in the Provos and IRSP. This deceit lasts until 1992 when the wast majority of the Officials up sticks and forms Democratic Left free from any armed wing.
And now Provisional IRA/Sinn Fein repeat the cycle by giving up a futile armed struggle but maintain the Army Council to keep everybody in line and to show who is boss in the areas they control.
Spot a pattern. Violence integral to a particular strain of Irish nationalism turned on former comrades who persist in the pursuit of the impossibilist goal of a unitary and indivisible Republic.
Perhaps we should all be asking the question as to why violence looms large in the Irish psyche. Why does authoritarian and corrupt political cultures keep replicating themselves in Irish society and history from Charlie Haughey to Gerry's New Model Army. Seeing them as variants of the desire to impose Pax Britannia in Ireland is a concve ient cop out.
It is my opinion that Sinn Fein should not be admitted to government in the Republic of Ireland until they demonstrate that, as the ex-Stickies of 1992 were prepared to do, that they IRA Army Council has been disbanded.
You can't bar a party with a mandate however unpalatable the baggage they carry. Exclusion leads to division and violent recourse history has shown that above all else.
Point taken, Steve. But, at the moment, Sinn Fein in government is not to be welcomed.Delete
Yes, I spot a lot of patterns!
You’re like a broken record saying one thing then doing another.
At any rate, violence is integral in all forms of imperialism.
And also, for the smaller nations who resist it.
It is not particular to Irish nationalism!
Just see Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam.
And nor is national unification of Ireland an impossible goal.
After all, there are many national unified republics.
Such as Germany and Vietnam and likely Korea.
But you knew all that yet write as a colonial cunt here anyway.
I hope MI5/MI6 is at least paying you.
Because you’d have to be nuts otherwise to write as you do.
Why don't you ask why violence looms large in the Anglo-Saxon psyche?
Why do authoritarian & corrupt political cultures...
Replicate themselves in lots of places?
Could it be corruption like rust never sleeps?
And or could it be that all vassal states are corrupt?
Since they are based on treason and selling out in varying degrees.
That is unless or until they are finally liberated...
Like France was from Germany.
Your denial of the obvious stems from your desire...
To impose Pax Britannia on Ireland.
Speaking of convenient cop outs:
It’s your way of avoiding patriotic national service.
And why is that? Bone spurs?
I am disappointed that the Quinn’s chose to use their plight in an attempt to directly influence the outcome of a general election. They were not dragged out during the British Westminster election nor will they be for the next Stormont election.
They have absolutely no chance of ever receiving justice no matter how many journos they speak to. They are exactly in the same spot from where they began and will continue to be so long in to the future. Their value is as a weapon for the State, both sides of the border, when the need arises and the media at the State’s request is the tool that manipulates them. The State is a callous and heartless bastard when it comes to defending itself and knows no boundaries beyond which it will not travel. There is no genuine empathy for the Quinn’s, only their current usefulness until after the election and the next that is.
How many deaths have occurred at the hands of the Gardai and yet the State defends them to the very bitter end. Where are the families of those victims? Why are they not dragged out at election time to condemn FG and FF and to encourage people not to vote for either of them? Why are those victims seeking justice for the murder of their relatives at the hands of the British security services not dragged out to influence people not to vote FG and condemn FG for agreeing to point Drew Harris to the Garda Commissioner post when he deliberately blocked investigations in to these while serving in the RUC / PSNI? Why is he not being called upon to account for his behaviour and resign?
The behaviour and response of SF in this instance, initially and currently and in many others for that matter, is abysmal and beggars belief that they can't see the wood for the trees. The fact of the matter is though, SF did not kill Paul Quinn. They do know, just as the Quinn’s know, who murdered Paul Quinn. The Garda and the PSNI also know this. The problem is evidence. There is as much equal weight in Conor Murphy going to court and pointing at the offender and saying he did it as there is Mrs Quinn doing this. The evidence of both is based on hearsay.
Conor Murphy tried to be clever in his silly attempt at deflection when he claimed Paul Quinn was involved in illegal activity. He was attempting damage limitation to SF from the behaviour of past republicans who are now and then heavily involved in illegal activity. He failed miserably and deservedly so.
Paul Quinn was brutally murdered but his family will never receive justice not matter how much highlighting is employed. THey are being manipulated. Such is the nature of our society.
PS – I’m deeply disappointed that Brian Stack’s son, David Kelly or Mrs McCabe were not trundled out on to the platform also…early days yet I suppose
none of that detracts from the right of the Quinn family to use elections as leverage to make their point. What purpose is there to an opportunity if you miss it? A pattern in your commentary is that anybody asking questions about Provo misdeeds such as the McCartneys, Mairia Cahill, the Quinns seems to draw your ire. Paradoxically, your logic should ultimately be leading to more questions being asked rather than less as you seem to be suggesting. The Quinn family might feel they have made progress by having Conor Murphy row back from his initial statement.Delete
The media defend the state on the grounds that it is democratically endorsed, that the state has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, all the usual arguments that we are familiar with even though we know there is a lot of state violence that can't be justified. And Harris will be commissioner no matter how many seats SF get and you will be smeared if you question him.
So rather than pillory people seeking justice you should consider supporting them or simply let it pass you by. There are enough bots ganging up on them without the more critical voices adding to the cacophony as well.
Bertie Ahern should be asked to explain why he labelled Paul Quinn the victim of a criminal feud and that there was no Provo involvement.
though your whinge has been roundly demolished already by both AM above and by Christy Walsh below I'll add my tuppence worth too.
Nobody in their right mind can ignore the egregious behaviour of Sinn Féin when defending or minimising the actions of Provo's and former Provo's.
This is exactly the case as exampled by the situation with the Quinn family's, the McCarthy family's and Maria Cahill's pursuit of truth and justice.
What Sinn Féin have done is wrong and ultimately will be realised and remembered as acts of political folly.
Sinn Féin's actions, such as Conor Murphy's denials and Mary Lou's defence of him, the collective silence after the Robert McCartney murder (not wanting to forget mention that Deirdre Hargey MLA, current Minister for Communications in the N.I. Assembly, was among that number) and the general vilification and isolation of dissenting voices down through the years does, or at least so it seems to me, indicate 'National Socialist' tendencies rather than 'Republican Socialist' ones!
Be careful about what you advocate for Niall.
I am opposed to all forms of violence be they "imperialist" or "antiimperialist" be it Anglo-Saxon and Irish. I have no problem with a united Ireland achieved through peaceful and concensual means.ReplyDelete
Those who are showering insults on me such "colonial cunts" do so because they cannot support their positions with reasoned, evidenced based arguments.
I think your comments are nasty and unconscionable. Breege Quinn has been saying the same thing consistently since her son's savage murder. What makes your comments so vulgar and reprehensible is the fact that you are aware that the Quinn family have no control over the media, you state: "We shall see how many media outlets this is discussed on after the election."
I know former IRA volunteers in Belfast who, after using their IRA status to committ petty crimes, were kneecapped by the iRA as punishment. That a gang of thugs, known for their IRA status, savagely beat Paul Quinn to death and got away with it is appalling. South Armagh once had an enviable reputation amongst IRA circles, and begrudingly amongst their enemies -but the caveat among the PoW's was -"You're only as good as your last op."
It is interesting to know the depths of behaviour you are prepared to condone and defend. I never did think much of your brand of republicanism.
I would agree with you Christy. The south Armagh brigade was known to be fair or at the very least tried not to mimic the activities of the mob like activities of other areas such as Belfast. The Quinn case damaged that reputation somewhat. The phrase "if you can't honour the IRA with your service; don't dishonour with a disservice" is lost on some folk.Delete
In other words what your saying is:
Pax Britannia bonum etsi Hibernia casus belli malus.
Translation: the British have been good to you.
Because in your world where ever it is...
Only Jews have the right to resist.
"The British have been good to you". Check your privilege and fuck off, Eoghan.Delete
Having read the comments I shall take the advice offered, let it pass and retire from the QuillReplyDelete
your own call but from our perspective, there is no need to retire. Often your comments are insightful and while you can be very critical of Sinn Fein, you have this inexplicable tendency to round on the party's victims anytime they raise their head above the parapet. SF are entitled to criticise all other parties so why can it not be criticised itself?Delete
Or you could acknowledge that were wrong. You as much as acknowledged that it is the media using the Quinns and that is what makes you so wrong in taking a swipe at the Quinns for that.
The Sinn Fein narrative of attacking and demonising Paul Quinn to justify murdering him is taken straight from the Widery Report about the Bloody Sunday victims.
Niall, there exists in your comments an unconscious cruelty devoid of conscience in an attack and in a defence of a reality. Your reply to HJ I find acceptable, except, " Quinn’s chose to use their plight in an attempt to directly influence the outcome of a general election". They did not choose. State media in their attempt to hound Sinn Féin brought Paul Quinn to life. I personally believe these hurting parents want a justice that would/should acknowledge that the manner of death far exceeded any errors this young man is accused of in his early life. This was not a criminal act on behalf of Paul Quinn or on behalf of anyone. The finance or money department in any society, in any organisation decide. The cruel reality of the unacceptable which we fought against is at our door. We degenerate the longer we exist and we should have balls to know this fact. This is not about Paul Quinn. This is about where as Republicans did we go to?.ReplyDelete
I’m always honored to be dishonored by the dishonorable.
But if it's any solace to you ...
I too think Jews have the right to resist.
Especially if they've been invaded and occupied.
Now ask your ward nurse why you have a problem with…
Irish people in Ireland having those same rights?
Because like a lot of colonials I think you suffer from a collapsed ego.
Proof: you think I'm privileged (WTF?).
When I'm straight out of the projects…
And from long lines of migrant Irish farm workers and cattle thieves.
All from County Kerry.
Come to think of it, maybe you are right…. I am privileged.
Buíochas le Dia!
Because I just can’t imagine what it’s like for you.
To go thru life thinking Brits have more right to Ireland than Irish.
You are a prosecutor are you not, Eoghan. Privileged to me that sounds.Delete
So your forbears are from County Kerry and you are from the 'projects' then. A long, long away from Northern Ireland where the struggle that you so romantically enthuse a convenient 3,000 miles from it.
Well, in the last fortnight another native Nordie passed away; Seamus Mallon who tirelessly camnpaigned for peace and justice for all affected by the Troubles; victims of state as well as paramilitary violence. He attended the funerals of all victims of violence in his neighbourhood be they Catholic, Protestant, IRA, RUC or UDR. I belonged to and campaigned for his political party (SDLP) I did not always agree with him but his patriotism was rooted in love of his native County Armagh and its people, history and culture not in fealty to abstract entities such as 'the nation' or 'The Republic'.
He was twenty times the Irishman that terrorist supporting arseholes from across the pond like you.
The vast majority of people brought up in the projects were brought up to show respect and cvility to one another.Delete
Wha, Eoghan, went so badly wrong in your upbringing that you seem incapable of displaying such aqualities in your interactions with others?
Worse than saying one thing and doing another…
You really don’t listen or pay attention.
As I’ve told you before: “I’ve never been a prosecutor.”
But how low must you go to think being one is a privilege?
Low enough to campaign for a British MP from the Stoop Down Low Party.
The same MP who said the GFA was "Sunningdale for slow learners".
Because he knew it wasn’t about having a Brit free Ireland.
Hence his oath to the British Government many times.
Which is why someone like you would consider him a great Irishman.
Because you really have no love or romance for Ireland.
Like a Vichy Frenchman, you’d rather be German.
Now does your ward nurse know you’re playing on her computer?
That pathetic drivel says everything about you and nothing about me or the values that I believe in, Eoghan.ReplyDelete
Oh and btw "Republicans" like you would have had the whole of Ireland incorporated into the Third Reich in the 1940s.
Now fuck off back to the hovel from whence you came.
Both Eoghan and Barry could perhaps email each other rather than continue their spat here. It has gone beyond the point where anybody is benefitting from it and has long since degenerated into name calling.ReplyDelete
Yip, this endless name calling is turning the comments section into a graffitied toilet door. No need for it.Delete
Christopher - I agree. It is reached the point where it is infantile. This thing should be, as you suggest, for toilet doors, not a political discussion site.Delete
I am prepared to call the spat off. I have certainly no desire to continue with it by email.ReplyDelete
I do understand why people are pissed off with the spat; I normally do not react with such vitriol.ReplyDelete
There was some provocation but nothing in my view which justified your OTT reaction.Delete
Endless name calling?
I only called Barry a “colonial cunt” once here.
And that’s no lie.
All quarrels here are spats.
Because in the grand scheme of things they are petty.
But to the extent they can shed more light then heat all the better.
So, in that regard I will aim to do better (but not via email).
And in the future, I’ll just refer to him as a colonial.
He can fill in the blank himself.
Or simply abide by his own pronouncements...
About never engaging with me again. LOL!
Eoghan - all quarrels may be spats but all exchanges are not. There is no lonhger any light in this, just heat. As you say it is not an academe but the purpose of the site should not be undermined. At the start these things can be funny but soon become tedious. Maybe the best outcome is that you both desist from engaging with each other.Delete
So you agree you were exaggerating.
But speaking of undermining the purpose of this site:
I thought it was about having free speech.
And giving a platform to alternative political points of view.
Rather than the usual conventional ones.
That do not lack for platforms anywhere.
Which begs the question why does he come here?
And while I am not inclined to give the anti-Irish a pass...
His intellectual dishonesty is by now notorious.
So, there should be less need of me to keep pointing that out.
That all said, some of the best political speech is on toilet doors:
i.e. Suicide in Ohio is redundant.
And I find curious 2 Irish guys take offense at another’s swearing.
Sure, I accept your critique about getting tedious…
But spare me your faux sensitivities about the use of such language.
Eoghan - what was funny at the start just became tedious through endless repetition. It is a free speech blog but you will get a sense of how free it is if somebody comes along and uses terms like nigger. They won't be here.Delete
I have no sensitivities to the language used - quite comfortable with it in fact. But I have concerns about the blog being used as a toilet door for infantile graffiti rather than good ideas.
Bring back Larry Hughes lolReplyDelete