IRA victim’s father’s hurt over SF fundraiser

Paul Quinn was murdered by the IRA at the age of 21 in 2007
Paul Quinn was murdered by the IRA at the age of 21 in 2007

The father of a man murdered by the IRA has told of the hurt he and his wife feel over a Strictly Come Dancing-inspired Sinn Fein fundraiser this weekend.

Stephen Quinn, whose son Paul was brutally murdered on a border farm by the IRA in 2007, said he had only learned of the event earlier this week.

A Facebook promotion for the Sinn Fein event

A Facebook promotion for the Sinn Fein event

According to an online promotion for the event the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ fundraiser will take place on Saturday at 7pm in the Jade Centre in Jonesborough.

Tickets for the event cost £15 and more than 1,000 people are expected to attend.

A promotional video for the event features Sinn Fein’s Sean Hughes who says: “This is going to be a fantastic night at the Jade Centre. There will be over 1,000 people in it.”

A message posted on Armagh Sinn Fein Facebook site says: “As part of the centenary events to commemorate the Easter Rising, Newry and Armagh Sinn Fein will be holding a Strictly Come Dancing event, albeit with a centenary themed take on it. It takes place on Saturday February 6 in Jonesborough. Couples from right across the constituency have been shaking, jumping and jiving to win the coveted winner’s title. This is one event definitely not to be missed!”

However, 67-year-old Mr Quinn from Cullyhanna said the thought of the event “doesn’t make us feel too good”.

Paul Quinn was aged 21 in October 2007 when he was lured to a farm near Oram in Co Monaghan. A group of men beat him with iron and nail-studded bars for upwards of half an hour, breaking every major bone in his body. He was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, where he died two hours later.

Mr Quinn said he and his wife Breege see the people who were involved in their son’s murder “every day”.

“I meet them on the road and all about. They live all around me here. It is not easy but you have to put up with it and I think they are getting it harder to look at me than I am at getting to look at them because they won’t look at me.

“They nearly look across the ditch when they meet me and that’s a sign of guilt isn’t it?”

He said “Breege copes with it the same as myself and doesn’t let on she sees them”.

“We have to get on with it you see,” he added.

“Now Paul would be 29 years old. He would be married I suppose. He had a girlfriend at the time and was going steady with her. She still calls to see us. But we will never get over what happened. They are brutes of people.

“If they have a conscience at all, which I don’t think they have, they should go and hand themselves in because the Gardai are not going to stop until they get to the bottom of it.”