Sinn Fein's Finance Minister in Northern Ireland, Conor Murphy, came under further pressure today to provide a more comprehensive apology to the family of murder victim Paul Quinn. 

Accompanied by SDLP members, the Quinn family brought their grievance to Stormont today where it was raised during proceedings in the Assembly.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Steve Aiken raised the issue with Sinn Féin's deputy first minister Michelle O'Neill at the Stormont Assembly.

She said Mr Murphy's apology had been "heartfelt and sincere".

She said: "We are talking about a mother who has been hurt.

"The best place and the best way for this to be dealt with is on a one-to-one basis and Conor Murphy is very happy to meet with Breege Quinn."

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said she will meet the mother of a Co Armagh man murdered 13 years ago.

Breege Quinn
Breege Quinn and her husband Stephen at their son Paul's grave

Ms McDonald said she hoped to meet Paul Quinn's mother Breege, having already spoken to her. 

Ms McDonald also said she also wanted Ms Quinn and Mr Murphy to meet.

She said Mr Murphy had made a public apology which was sincere, as she said was the hurt of the Quinn family.

Earlier today, Ms Quinn said she had been through hell.

Mr Quinn, 21, was beaten to death by a gang in Co Monaghan in 2007.

At the time Mr Murphy alleged that Mr Quinn was involved in criminality before he was killed.

He withdrew the remarks publicly earlier this month.

Ms Quinn maintains that the IRA was behind the killing but Sinn Féin has always denied republican involvement in Mr Quinn's murder.

She added: "Conor Murphy does not have a mandate to criminalise people he is supposed to represent.

"He does not have a mandate to call our son a criminal.

"We are once again calling on him today to say the simple words that Paul Quinn was not a criminal."

Ms Quinn said: "He must also go to the PSNI and the gardaí to give the names of the IRA men he spoke to in Cullyhanna.

"He must stop providing political cover for murderers."

Mr Murphy said in 2007 that he had spoken to IRA men in Cullyhanna, who reassured him that the murder was not carried out by the IRA.

Ms Quinn also said Mr Murphy did not say in recent comments that her son was not a criminal.

"He says now he is sorry for saying those words, he knew the day that he said them that they were lies.

"He has held that lie for 13 years and put our family through hell." 

Speaking in Dublin, Ms McDonald said the matter would not be resolved and mediated over the airwaves. She said she wished Ms Quinn peace of mind and justice.

Asked about Ms Quinn's request that Mr Murphy provide the names of the IRA men he said he spoke to about the murder, Ms McDonald said the gardaí and the PSNI were "perfectly capable" of seeking out anyone they needed to speak to and did not need her prompting.

Additional reporting PA