Northern Ireland

Paul Quinn murder: Man arrested and police operation under way at farm

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBBC Newsline's Gordon Adair reports from the farm at the centre of a security operation

A man in his 50s has been arrested by gardaí (Irish police) investigating the death of Paul Quinn.

The 21-year-old was beaten to death in a barn at Oram, County Monaghan, in October 2007.

Image caption A digger arrives at the farm where gardaí have launched a major security operation

The BBC understands that specialist ground radar has been used in the search, near the border.

An object, possibly a vehicle, has been discovered. A digger has been brought it to excavate the item.

Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption Paul's mother, Breege, said she "felt glad and felt sad" when she received a call from the police

The arrest came during a major security operation at a farm near Castleblayney on the border between Monaghan and Armagh.

Supt Alan Cunningham said the search is likely to continue "for a couple of days".

"I would appeal to anyone with information and also anyone who was involved in the murder to make themselves known," he said.

"This investigation has gone on a number of years but we have continued to review any information we have received and this search is a part of that," he added.

The Quinn family have blamed the Provisional IRA for his death.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Paul Quinn was 21 when he was attacked

The government established Independent Monitoring Commission said those involved " included people who are members or former members, or have associations with members or former members, of the Provisional IRA."

This claim was denied by Sinn Féin.

The party's president Gerry Adams said a small handful of criminals who were "using the border for their own purposes" were responsible for his death.

Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption The arrest came during a major security operation at a farm near Castleblayney

Paul's mother, Breege, said she "felt glad and felt sad" when she received a call from the police.

"I felt sad because it just reminded me of that day, but I'm also very glad because it just goes to show that the gardaí haven't given up. They always said they wouldn't give up and that is proof," she said.

"From that very night to this day, the gardaí have been in constant contact with us to just let us know that they're still investigating the murder, that it will never be closed.

Image caption Paul Quinn's parents blame the Provisional IRA for their son's death

"We appreciate all the gardaí are doing for us in trying to get justice for our son."

She said police gave her some information about their operation.

"The gardaí rang to say they were scanning a field just on the border. They think there might be something buried in that field that was used for Paul's murder," she added.

Image caption Paul was found in a barn at Oram, County Monaghan

Searches began at 09:00 BST on Thursday at the farm.

The man who was arrested is in his early 50s. He was detained in Castleblayney and is currently being held at Carrickmacross garda station.

Image caption Searches of the area began on Thursday morning

Gardaí say the operation involves a large number of officers.

Related Topics

More on this story

Around the BBC