A republican who served a 16-year sentence for murdering a teenager has said he was not behind the rioting that rocked north Belfast over the past week.
Tony ‘TC’ Catney flatly denied that he masterminded the Real IRA terror group that pulled the strings during the clashes between hooded youths in Ardoyne and the PSNI, which mirrored the worst days of the troubles.
Catney, brother-in-law of Sinn Fein junior minister Gerry Kelly, told the Sunday Life he was being smeared by the party after claims by republicans and security sources that he was the top Real IRA man in Belfast.
Catney was convicted for the 1974 murder of Protestant Maurice Knowles — who at 17 was a year older than his killer — on the shores of Belfast Lough. He was released in 1990 and became Director of Elections for Sinn Fein from 1993-2003. But he was sidelined because of his opposition to the Good Friday Agreement.