1. IRA involvement
Dominic Bradley said a few very suspect things; you can find the full transcript of the debate here.
“This was no ad hoc gang that had hastily convened to beat a young man: instead, it was a group of up to 10 people who knew what they were doing, had probably been involved in similar beatings previously and who organised, planned and executed that dreadful deed with military precision”
What evidence does Dominic have for suggesting this? Last time I checked Dominic was a qualified teacher, not a Policeman or a forensic scientist.
“I do not believe that anyone in south Armagh believes that the IRA was not involved in Paul Quinn’s murder.”
Apart from being a totally ridiclous statement with no basis in fact, the SDLP don't represent the people of South Armagh. 84% of the electorate in South Armagh voted for Sinn Féin in the last election, not the SDLP.
“it became clear from the gardaí, the PSNI and the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) that what the family had told me was the truth — the IRA was involved in Paul’s murder.”
A clear lie!
Last week the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Brian Lenihan told the Dáil that the Gardaí have no information to show that the IRA was involved in the murder of Paul Quinn.
The PSNI have yet to show a single piece of evidence that would lead one to believe that the IRA were involved in the murder of Paul Quinn.
The IMC statement, by only one member, said the following
"the involvement in this crime of persons who are current or former members of the Provisional IRA, or who have associations with members or former members of the Provisional IRA"
As Conor said yesterday this statement is so vague that it's useless. The reality is that Dominic Bradley is now an associate of former members of the IRA given his support for the Quinn Support Group.
There is not a single person in South Armagh who is not at least an associate of former members of the IRA.
“It is equally naïve to expect people to believe that the murder was the result of a dispute between two criminal gangs"
Why is it naive to believe that? At the end of the day the stoops are now aligned with one of these groups, the same group that killed Oglach Keith Rodgers.
I can think of at least two criminal gangs located in the Crossmaglen and Culloville areas.
In fact Councillor Geraldine Donnelly made reference to them recently when she said the following in her statement "SDLP WELCOME MAJOR DPP MEETING IN CROSSMAGLEN 05.09.07 "
She said: “Car crime is an absolute scourge around here and there are anti-social elements who got a free run for years"
Yes there are Geraldine, the difference being that the SDLP are now in bed politically with these "anti-social elements".
Judge a man/woman by the company they keep and the stoops are keeping some very unsavoury company in this QSG.
2. The criminality tag
Conor was quite right to refuse to back down on this issue, to do so would be akin to the political expediency of the SDLP.
After Paul's murder, when questioned by reporters, Gerry Adams said the following
“it is fairly obvious to me that this is linked to fuel smuggling and to criminal activity"
Now this has caused uproar amongst the SDLP but I have yet to hear Dominic Bradley attack Jim Cusack of the Irish Independent when he said the following
"Paul Quinn is also believed to have been the driver of a disguised lorry containing thousands of litres of laundered diesel which was set on fire at the side of the main Saintfield to Lisburn road on October 10 last.
According to sources in south Armagh, the lorry had a flat tyre and Quinn, fearing his fingerprints would be found on it, decided to set it on fire and fled the scene.
Paul Quinn knew he was in trouble but local people said that as well as being cocky he was careful. He was prepared to go to the shed in Tullylorra near Castleblayney because he thought there was a fuel laundering plant there and he had a job to drive a lorry."
As anyone who reads the Indo will know, Cusack is no friend of Sinn Féin. I am not asking people to take the word of Cusack but it does go to show that Dominic is only concerned with attacking Sinn Féin. If he was really concerned about the criminality tag he would have attacked the Independent and the Irish Times as well.
Indeed Dominic has yet to mention the recent comments of Garda Superintendent Heller when he told the Northern Standard, a County Monaghan based newspaper
"that Gardai were awaiting the result of some forensic tests on items recovered in the course on the ongoing investigation which might assist the authorities in their probe....Detectives now believe some of those linked to the Quinn murder may have been associated with a major cross-border smuggling operation "
This fuel smuggling line is continuing to come up in relation to the Paul Quinn murder, why are the SDLP and the QSG trying to lead the Gardaí in the wrong direction in relation to Paul's murder?
The QSG have tried to suggest that fuel smuggling is not a criminal offence but I wonder how they square this with a statement from Councillor Geraldine Donnelly when she said the following on the 10.10.07, "DONNELLY CONDEMNS DIESEL DUMPERS"
"the diesel launderers are environmental criminals and should be treated as such by everyone in South Armagh.”
I really wish the SDLP would develop a clear line on this murder, their flip flopping and political expediency is fooling nobody.