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We weren't manipulated by the media, say Paul Quinn parents

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

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

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

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

The mother of Paul Quinn said she has been left devastated by claims that she was manipulated by the media in a bid to hurt Sinn Fein's election campaign.

Breege Quinn, whose son Paul was murdered by the IRA in a brutal attack in 2007, told the BBC Nolan Show she had been the driving force behind the campaign to get justice for her son.

"I'm so angry. I'm so angry that people are calling into your show to say that you manipulated Stephen (Paul's father) and I to go on your show just because there's an election on," she told host Stephen Nolan.

"Those people, why are they so, so angry towards you? So disrespectful towards you. We take all calls from all stations, all newspapers, to get justice for our son Paul."

Mrs Quinn thanked Mr Nolan for his help in publicising the case, but said after hearing the backlash, "I could just sit down and cry".

Mr Nolan said his show would always champion causes like that of the Quinns.

He said those that didn't like it could "go to hell".

"I'm so disappointed with those people, have they not a brain in their head," Mrs Quinn said. The Quinn family received a formal apology from Sinn Fein Finance Minister Conor Murphy last week after he claimed that Paul Quinn was a criminal shortly after his death.

However, Mrs Quinn said the apology did not go far enough as Mr Murphy had not categorically stated her son was not a criminal.

During a phonecall Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald promised Mrs Quinn she would raise the issue again with Mr Murphy.

It is understood he is planning to write to the Quinn family.

Coverage of the issue dominated the media in the lead-up to the weekend's General Election in the Republic of Ireland, with Sinn Fein getting the highest amount of first preference votes, stunning the traditional main parties Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

Paul Quinn was killed after clashing with the son of a local IRA commander. He was lured from his Cullyhanna home in south Armagh to a barn in Oram, Monaghan where a 12-strong gang beat him with baseball bats and nail-studded cudgels.

Every major bone in his body below his neck was broken in the attack. His hands were so badly broken, they couldn't hold rosary beads in the coffin.

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