The parents of murdered Paul Quinn have said there are "no words for the hurt and humiliation" they feel after comments made at a Sinn Féin rally last month.
Breege and Stephen Quinn repeated their call for Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy to state their son was not a criminal as they met with political leaders in Leinster House yesterday. Ms Quinn criticised remarks at a Sinn Féin rally in Newry last week where party leader Mary Lou McDonald was told by a supporter that Mr Murphy had "nothing to apologise for".
The comments were applauded by those in attendance.
Neither Ms McDonald nor Mr Murphy, who were at the rally, responded. Both have apologised to the Quinn family but Ms Quinn said she wants Mr Murphy to state publicly her son was not a criminal.
"There are no words for the hurt and humiliation we feel to have heard these words applauded at a political rally and yet we are the ones accused of making this political," she said yesterday.
Paul Quinn, from Cullyhanna, South Armagh, was 21 when he was beaten to death by a gang of around a dozen men in a farm shed on the Border in 2007. His family blame people linked to the IRA for his murder.
Shortly after the killing, Mr Murphy, who is the North's finance minister, said Mr Quinn was involved in "smuggling and criminality".
A Sinn Féin spokesperson said: "Conor Murphy has apologised for the remarks that he made and has unreservedly withdrawn them."
It was "common knowledge" around Cullyhanna that Paul Quinn was waiting for a hiding, according to sources familiar with the investigation. He was 21, had a sister, a brother, a girlfriend, Emma, and lived with his parents, Stephen and Breege. He earned money from driving lorries like his father and working on building sites.
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.