THE parents of Paul Quinn say they will accept an apology from Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy for linking murdered son to criminality – but have demanded that he now help the gardaí investigation.
Paul’s father Stephen told Independent.ie this evening: “It has taken almost 13 years of pain and tears to get him (Murphy) to do the decent thing and finally accept that what he said about our boy being a criminal was false and wrong.”
It comes after Mr Murphy withdrew his long-standing claim that the 21-year-old was “involved in smuggling and criminality”.
Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister said: “I very much regret comments I made in the aftermath of Paul’s murder which have added to the grief felt by the Quinn family.”
Mr Murphy added that those who murdered the young mechanic “need to be brought to justice”.
“I repeat my call on anyone with any information on his murder to bring it to the Gardai or the PSNI.”
However, the Quinn family said that Mr Murphy “must show that he is sincere” by providing gardaí with the names of IRA members that he discussed the killing with.
Mr Murphy previously claimed to have spoken with people connected to the IRA and said “none of their members” were involved.
Mr Quinn said the politicians must do “the honourable thing as a human being and go and tell the guards the names of these people he went to see in the IRA in 2007 who assured him the IRA were not involved”.
“If he really cares about the rule of law and human rights then he needs to do what he can to bring these murderers to justice.
“Conor Murphy must now tell the police who these people are and also tell whatever else he has known about our son’s murder that he has not shared over the years that Sinn Fein ignored us.”
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan also called on the Sinn Féin representative to make a full statement to the Gardaí.
Mr Quinn’s death has become a major issue after Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald denied Mr Murphy had ever linked the murder victim to criminality.
She has since backtracked on that – but is refusing to ask him to stand down from his office in the Northern Executive.
The gang who lured Mr Quinn to a shed outside Clastleblaney, Co Monaghan in 2007 broke every bone in his body. His devastated parents were not able to a rosary beads around his fingers because they were so broken.
His mother Breege told today how her husband “hasn’t gone anywhere since Paul died”.
“The only place he goes, every day is to the grave, hail, rain or snow. And if it's lashing rain, he’ll park outside the grave,” she said.
Ms McDonald said today that Mr Murphy had addressed the controversy and she accepted that.
“Look we’re only after getting the power-sharing government back up and running.
“We have to make a success of this. I believe everybody is determined to do so.
“So Conor won’t be stepping down.
“He has made an apology. It’s sincerely made and I hope and I trust that the Quinn family will get some measure of comfort from that,” she said.
The mother of IRA murder victim Paul Quinn has called for Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy to publicly apologise to her family and resign after he claimed her son had been involved in criminality.
The most basic form of human empathy is that when a family is grieving, you most certainly do not compound their grief, particularly when someone receives a death so horrific, it shocks everyone to the core.
The last time Breege Quinn saw her son alive he was lying on a hospital bed with a ventilator tube protruding from his mouth, his eyes half open.