News Politics

Friday 20 April 2018

Adams ignores mother's plea on IRA threat to son

Eoin Kelly living in fear after he received chilling death threats from same Provo gang who murdered Paul Quinn in 2007

Eoin Kelly with his father Eoin Kelly
Eoin Kelly with his father Eoin Kelly
Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has failed to respond to a mother's emotional plea for him to use his influence to save her son after he received chilling death threats from members of the same Provo gang who brutally beat an innocent young man to death seven years ago.

Pauline Torley made a public appeal to Mr Adams and Sinn Fein last week after her family was informed by the PSNI of an imminent threat to the life of her son, Eoin Kelly (29).

The family fears the innocent young man, who has been the subject of a campaign of intimidation and vilification, may suffer the same fate as another south Armagh man, Paul Quinn (21), who was bludgeoned to death by the same gang in October 2007.

The Torley/Kelly family have been living in fear since a campaign was launched against them by local 'Republican' gangsters over two years ago.

It is understood the dispute centres around a personal grudge one of the gang members has against Mr Kelly. In recent months it has escalated with repeated false accusations made against Mr Kelly, who is now living in fear he will be murdered.

The acts of intimidation against the family have included a car being driven at speed at Mrs Torley's daughter, Orla, while she was eight months pregnant.

In another incident, a man pushed a buggy while Orla's infant child was inside. Mrs Torley's son, Eoin, from a previous marriage, has also suffered verbal deaths threats and his Nigerian-born girlfriend has had vile racist abuse shouted at her in public.

Eoin told the Sunday Independent: "We never thought it would get this bad but they turned on us in a shocking way. They tore down a new fence we put up round the house. They put three big holes in it after us paying £1,300 (€1,800) for it. They poisoned my dog in the garden.

"Then my sister, Orla, was hit with the wing mirror of a car that drove past her real fast as she was out pushing her child in the buggy, and she was nearly eight months pregnant at the time.

"My girlfriend is in fear too. They pulled in behind her car and flashed the lights and near drove her off the road and they have driven by my place and shouted 'n****r' and awful stuff like that at her. That's fairly shocking. She was very upset.

"The other week, one of them pulled up beside me and shouted: 'You're dead, you're f****** dead."

Last Thursday week, the PSNI called to the Kelly family home and gave notice that they believed a previously unheard of group calling itself the Republican Community of Crossmaglen, believed to be a cover-name for the same gang that murdered Paul Quinn, was behind the threats.

The wording of the statement given to Mr Kelly Snr was that the PSNI believed it was the intention of the group to "take some form of punitive attack against his son".

This prompted Mrs Torley to write to the local newspaper, the Crossmaglen Examiner, pleading for her son's life to be spared.

In her letter, published on last week, Mrs Turley wrote: "As a lifetime resident of Crossmaglen I will not be voting Sinn Fein in the upcoming Westminster election or ever again. When I voted 'Yes' for the Good Friday Agreement, I voted for a democracy with true peace. This is not what we have today. To my eternal dismay and embarrassment, I admit that I swallowed Sinn Fein's lies, deception and false promises.

"Sinn Fein promised peace, prosperity, truth and justice would follow from the Good Friday Agreement and the Peace Process. Instead we have the justice of border lords' vigilantes and the baseball bat. It is time to leave fear and the dark days of intimidation behind us for good."

None of the gang responsible for the Paul Quinn has ever been charged after gardai and the PSNI met a wall of silence in south Armagh where potential witnesses were too frightened to give evidence. Gardai identified most, if not all, of the gang but were unable to bring charges.

The killing is still under investigation and gardai are 'hopeful' rather than confident that charges might still be brought.

All the gang members live in big houses costing hundreds of thousands of euro from illicit earnings from the diesel trade and cigarette smuggling.

Two of the Republican gangsters include a man in his late twenties who has never worked at anything more than truck driving and another who has been on the dole for more than a decade who both live in houses which local people say cost €300,000 to build.

The core members of the gang are known as local Sinn Fein supporters.

In her public appeal on behalf of her son last week, Mrs Torley appealed to party leader Gerry Adams to intervene to lift the threat to her son's life.

However, neither Mr Adams nor his party had responded to her plea at the time of going to print.

Sinn Fein made no reply to a request for comment from the Sunday Independent.

Sunday Independent

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