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Conor Murphy apology 'not enough', says heartbroken mother of murdered Paul Quinn

The parents of Paul Quinn gave a guarded welcome after Conor Murphy apologised on RTE

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Breege and Stephen Quinn parents of Paul Quinn at home in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Breege and Stephen Quinn parents of Paul Quinn at home in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

General view showing the grave of Paul Quinn in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

General view showing the grave of Paul Quinn in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

General view showing the grave of Paul Quinn in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

General view showing the grave of Paul Quinn in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

General view showing the grave of Paul Quinn in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

General view showing the grave of Paul Quinn in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

General view showing the grave of Paul Quinn in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

General view showing the grave of Paul Quinn in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Breege mother of Paul Quinn arrives at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Breege mother of Paul Quinn arrives at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Breege mother of Paul Quinn arrives at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Breege mother of Paul Quinn arrives at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Breege and Stephen Quinn parents of Paul Quinn at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Breege and Stephen Quinn parents of Paul Quinn at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Breege and Stephen Quinn parents of Paul Quinn at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Breege and Stephen Quinn parents of Paul Quinn at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Breege and Stephen Quinn parents of Paul Quinn at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Breege and Stephen Quinn parents of Paul Quinn at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Breege and Stephen Quinn parents of Paul Quinn at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Breege and Stephen Quinn parents of Paul Quinn at Paul's grave in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

General view of the main street in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

General view of the main street in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

General view of the main street in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

General view of the main street in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Breege and Stephen Quinn parents of Paul Quinn at home in Cullyhanna on February 5th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The devastated mother of murder victim Paul Quinn has said that a long-awaited apology from Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy is "not enough".

Breege Quinn was speaking after Mr Murphy finally apologised for branding her son a criminal in the wake of his murder by an IRA gang in 2007.

At her remote home in Cullyhanna, Mrs Quinn digested the news of the apology she had fought so hard for.

Listening to the words of the Sinn Fein MLA and Stormont Finance Minister she remained unmoved.

"He hasn't apologised to us," was her initial reaction, but she later told the Belfast Telegraph she welcomed the move.

"I have yet to see Conor Murphy on national television apologising for the hurt he has caused to Breege and Stephen Quinn by blackening our son's name.

"Until I hear those words it's not enough."

Mr Murphy's apology was later aired on RTE news at 6pm.

Mrs Quinn said that her fight for justice was far from over.

"He can say he wants to meet with us all he likes. He's not welcome at my home until I have justice for Paul. People in the courts and behind bars for what they did to Paul," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"All these years the Sinn Fein line has been to give information to police."

Mrs Quinn said that Mr Murphy's comments "have torn our family apart."

He can say he wants to meet with us all he likes. He's not welcome at my home until I have justice for Paul. People in the courts and behind bars for what they did to Paul Breege Quinn

Earlier Mr Murphy said he regretted making the comments in the wake of the murder.

"I have consistently condemned the killing of Paul Quinn, I have said that those responsible for this murder are criminals and they deserve to be brought to justice," the Sinn Fein MLA told RTE on Wednesday afternoon.

"I have consistently called for anyone that has information that will help lead to their apprehension to bring it to the investigating authorities on either side of the border.

"Remarks that I made at the time of his killing are a matter of regret, I am sorry that has added to the grief that the family have felt and I want to apologise to them for that, I want to withdraw those remarks and of course my offer to the family to have dialogue with them on the issue remains open and I hope to be bale to meet them in the near future to discuss this."

Paul Quinn (21) was beaten to death by an IRA gang in a brutal attack at a farmhouse in Oram, Co Monaghan in October 2007. He had previously clashed with a local IRA commander's son.

Sinn Fein has always denied IRA involvement in the murder.

After Mr Quinn's death Mr Murphy told a BBC Spotlight programme that he had been involved in criminality and fuel smuggling.

Mr Quinn's mum Breege campaigned for years to have Mr Murphy retract his comments which she described as a slur on her son.

Mr Murphy had always declined to apologise until the issue returned to prominence ahead of this weekend's General Election in the Republic of Ireland.

Initially Mr Murphy and Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald claimed the MLA never made the comments, but were forced to change tact after the Spotlight footage re-emerged.

Remarks that I made at the time of his killing are a matter of regret Conor Murphy

UUP leader Steve Aiken, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and TUV leader Jim Allister have all suggested that Mr Murphy should consider resigning his position in the Stormont Executive .

However, Mrs McDonald was adamant the new Finance Minister will remain in post.

Asked if she'd consider removing Mr Murphy from his position, the Sinn Fein leader said "there's absolutely no question of that".

Speaking at a meeting of Stormont's Executive Committee on Wednesday afternoon First Minister Arlene Foster said the apology was the right thing to do.

Asked by UUP committee member Mike Nesbitt if she was happy to continue to work with Mr Murphy as Finance Minister, Mrs Foster said that Sinn Fein nominate their ministers and it was a matter for them.

Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill said that it was "right and proper" for Mr Murphy to apologise.

"Paul Quinn was not a criminal. Paul Quinn was murdered by criminals," she said.

Paul Quinn

Belfast Telegraph


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