Belfast Telegraph

'Adams should do the right thing and name the people who killed our son'

By Suzanne Breen

The family of a south Armagh man who was beaten to death by the IRA has called on Gerry Adams to hand over the names of the murderers to the Garda.

Up to a dozen masked men wearing black military-style clothing were involved in the savage assault on 21-year-old Paul Quinn in a barn along the border in 2007.

Last night his mother Breege appealed to Mr Adams to give the names of those involved in the murder to Irish police.

She said that she had been "inspired" by Austin Stack, who this week challenged the Sinn Fein president over the 1983 murder in Dublin of his prison officer father Brian.

Speaking from her Cullyhanna home last night, Breege said: "Mr Adams gave Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan the names of four republicans who may have been involved in Brian Stack's murder.

"We would ask him to do the same regarding our son. He was able to pass on the names of people in connection with a murder 33 years ago. Paul's murder was only nine years ago, so it should be much easier for Gerry Adams to assist us.

"We had asked to meet Sinn Fein after Paul was murdered but they didn't even have the courtesy to reply. We are not asking to meet Sinn Fein now. All we want is for Mr Adams to go to gardai and do the right thing."

According to a BBC report yesterday, the Sinn Fein president said he had no information relating to Paul Quinn's death, and that his sympathies were with the family.

Breege said: "That is absolute nonsense. Gerry Adams could come to south Armagh and secure justice for us within an hour because it is prominent Provisional IRA members who killed our son.

"They wore boilersuits, they had iron bars. The murder was carried out with military-like precision. They used bleach to clean up afterwards. These men weren't from Mars - they were local IRA members."

Paul was targeted after clashing with several local Provisionals over minor matters in the months before his death. He was lured to a barn in Oram, Co Monaghan, on October 20, 2007.

Two friends of his had been working at the farm. IRA members arrived, beat the young men and tied them up in a shed. They were then forced to phone Paul and lure him to the farm by claiming they needed a hand shifting cattle.

Paul drove from south Armagh with another friend to help. When they arrived, Paul's friend was taken to the shed where the two other young men were tied up. Paul was brought to another barn.

"From his toes to his groin, the IRA battered him with iron bars. They used nail-studded cudgels on his upper body," Breege said.

"As the beating began, his friends heard him screaming loudly and begging for mercy. But as it continued, his voice grew weaker and eventually faded until nothing could be heard."

Paul was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where Breege visited her dying son. "That horrific memory will never leave me," she said.

"Paul was lying on the bed with a ventilator tube protruding from his mouth, his eyes half open. His head was swollen and there were gashes on his face. His right ear was torn off. Every major bone below his neck was broken.

"The doctors said nothing could be fixed. Seeing the child that you gave birth to in that pitiful state would destroy any mother, but you try to go on."

Although more than 20 people have been arrested during the Quinn murder investigation - including Padraig 'Paudie' Treanor, a former driver of local Sinn Fein politician Conor Murphy, none has been charged.

The Garda investigation reveals a high degree of planning on the day of the murder. Phone records examined by detectives showed the mobiles of around eight key suspects were turned off at the same time. They were then almost simultaneously turned on after 6pm following the beating.

After the murder, Mr Murphy said he had spoken to the IRA and was satisfied it wasn't involved. He branded Paul "a criminal" and linked his murder to a feud among criminals.

The Irish Government and the SDLP both asserted that Paul wasn't a criminal. Breege said: "Nine years after Paul's murder, we once again appeal to Mr Murphy, as a politician and a father, to withdraw his disgraceful slur against our son. Every day we live with the agony of losing Paul. If there was even a shred of decency within Sinn Fein, they should do the right thing."

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