|By Mairia Cahill
Sinn Fein has treated the many long-suffering victims of the IRA like dirt on the end of a shoe.
In 2007, a 21-year-old man was lured to a shed in Co Monaghan with the promise of work clearing up a farmyard. Instead, 10 ''men'' beat him with iron bars while his friend was forced to listen. "You could hear the bars bouncing off him… he was screaming," he said at the time. Had he lived, as his mother pointed out last week, Paul Quinn would now be 34.
Everyone knows the IRA was responsible for killing him, except the recently appointed Northern finance minister, Conor Murphy, who said he had been given "solid assurances" that the IRA hadn't been involved. He stated Quinn had been killed as the result of a "criminal feud". Paul's parents have repeatedly called for a retraction of this statement. Murphy has never done so. He has also never disclosed who he had spoken to that led him to form that opinion.
Paul was murdered nine years after the Good Friday Agreement by shadowy figures who have never been prosecuted for the crime. Shadowy figures protected those killers. Life in Northern Ireland has never been normal, but the memory of Breege Quinn, Paul's mother, sobbing as she told me her son was beaten so badly that she couldn't even put rosary beads on his hands will haunt me forever. Such a simple ritual that couldn't be observed because the animals who battered Paul left, as a doctor told his family, "nothing to fix".
A few months ago, Mary Lou McDonald was asked about Paul Quinn and specifically if Conor Murphy would retract his "criminal" remark. "I will ask Conor Murphy to say and do things that give confidence and comfort to the Quinn family," she said. The Quinn family heard nothing after this interview, from Murphy or McDonald.
The situation with other victims of the IRA is similar. Sinn Fein have treated them like dirt on the end of a shoe, trodden into the carpet for good measure.
On whose instructions have they been acting over decades?
Read more @ the Sunday Indo.