‘SF can secure truth by naming all killers of the PIRA’s 1800 victims’

Breege and Stephen Quinn holding a photograph of their son Paul, who was murdered along the border in Co Monaghagn in 2007 . Photo: David Young/PA Wire
Breege and Stephen Quinn holding a photograph of their son Paul, who was murdered along the border in Co Monaghagn in 2007 . Photo: David Young/PA Wire

An easier way for Sinn Fein to secure truth and justice - rather than marching the streets of Belfast - would be for the party to name everyone responsible for the IRA’s almost 1800 killings, it is claimed.

Breege Quinn, whose son Paul, 21, was beaten to death with bars in Co Monaghan in 2007, was speaking after leading Sinn Fein figures took part in a massive ‘March for Truth’ in Belfast on Sunday.

Her family has long blamed the IRA for her son’s murder.

Organisers of Sunday’s march called for proposed truth mechanisms to be rolled out to hold the Uk to account for Troubles killings. Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill and many other party members took part.

But Mrs Quinn challenged the party’s stance.

“Sinn Fein have no need to take part in any parades,” she told the News Letter. “Sinn Fein can come here to my home and give me the truth. They don’t need to march the streets.

“They are just putting on a face. An easier way to get truth and justice would be for Sinn Fein coming out and naming everyone responsible for all the IRA murders.”

According to reference work Lost Lives, the IRA claimed 1778 lives up to 2001.

She added: “Mary Lou McDonald said recently that she could not fill Gerry Adam’s shoes, but that she would walk in her own.

“Maybe they should try walking in our shoes for a week or two to find out how hard it is.

“But maybe it is actually even harder for the people who beat Paul to walk in their own shoes. After all, they carried out the murder.”

Her family did not receive any invitation to take part in the parade, she said.

And she says Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy has never withdrawn allegations about her son, nor advised her who Mr Murphy consulted when the IRA assured him they did not kill him. Sinn Fein did not offer any comment.

On Sunday, Sinn Fein’s Carál Ní Chuilín rejected social media criticism of the march, claiming it originated from loyalists. Such criticism was “totally offensive & lacking in dignity” and it was “Clear that this is another example of a complete lack of leadership & responsibility” she said.

However deputy PUP leader John Kyle gave her a firm response.

“The Belfast Truth March was organised by Republicans to further their own political ends,” he told the News Letter. “It is not something unionists would be willing to participate in. Addressing the legacy of the past is vitally important and all political parties must be involved, but not on Sinn Féin’s terms.

“Sinn Féin show no willingness to help victims and survivors of Republican violence. Their refusal to engage in a truth recovery process displays overt double standards.

“However addressing the legacy of the past is something all political parties need to be involved in for the sake of victims and survivors. Failure to do so will only result in further suffering and hinder progress.”

Paul Quinn’s brother, James, wrote the following poem;-

It is ten years since I buried my brother Paul.

The IRA lured him to a shed along the border and beat him to death.

My life has frozen since that day.

Every morning I wake up thinking ‘is today the day we we will get a call to say someone has been arrested or charged with Paul’s murder?’

‘Is today the day someone could not live with themselves and handed themselves in?’

I think about the IRA scum who murdered Paul all the time.

I wonder if they wake up in the morning thinking ‘is today the day I am going to jail for killing a young lad?’

‘Is today the day that somebody hangs me out to dry?’

‘Is today the day my world will fall apart because I could not have anything but bad luck after taking an innocent life?’

I hope what these criminals did to my brother haunts them.

I hope these four words ‘is today the day?’ are always on their mind.