Editorial: Despicable threats to family of Glenn Quinn

As we know only too well, it takes enormous courage to stand up to the thugs and bully-boys in paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland.

Even more so when those brave individuals have direct experience of the brutality the murder gangs are capable of inflicting.

This week 78-year-old Ellen Quinn and her son Martin spoke out after receiving death threats from the South East Antrim UDA, a despicable attempt to intimidate a family who have already endured the most appalling and cruel loss.

In January 2020, Glenn Quinn was beaten to death by a gang at his Ashleigh Park home in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.

His brother, Martin Quinn, described it as a 'merciless attack' using iron bars and baseball bats.

The frail 47-year-old was terminally ill. His attackers not only cut short his life in a horrifying way, they also inflicted the most unimaginable pain and suffering on his family.

His family believe people with links to the South East Antrim UDA were responsible for his murder.

They have been campaigning for justice for a much-loved son and brother, as they are absolutely entitled to do.

However, it is clear the criminals behind his killing are just as determined to stop them achieving justice.

According to Martin Quinn, the family has been threatened 12 times since the murder.

The latest message said Mr Quinn and his mother had 24 hours to get out of Northern Ireland or they would be shot.

Mrs Quinn had one response to the gangsters: ''I'm here to stay, no one will put me out of my home, or put me out of my country.''

Mr Quinn told the BBC said there was particular anger in his family at the threat to a 78-year-old widow of a Royal Irish Regiment soldier in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday. ''It's an absolute disgrace,'' he said.

People across Northern Ireland will share the Quinn family's disgust at this latest warning from gangsters who are nothing more than a blight on the Carrickfergus community.

Their actions in trying to frighten an elderly widow show them for who they truly are - not defenders of anything but a malign force intent on ruling through fear.

Why are they still here, other than to profit from misery?

The Quinn family have shown remarkable courage. They deserve to be supported in every way - by the local community, by political representatives and by the PSNI.

Paramilitaries need to get the message that they are not wanted.