Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Robert McCartney's sister: IRA must hand findings of internal probe to police

Murdered, Robert McCartney
Murdered, Robert McCartney

Catherine McCartney, the sister of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney, has called on the IRA to hand over the findings of its internal inquiry to the police.

She wants the Provos to do so before the eighth anniversary of his murder, which falls on January 31.

Today she will raise the matter in a meeting with Micheal Martin, the Fianna Fail leader, who has been a strong critic of republicans for allegedly impeding the investigation.

He was scathing when 350 Sinn Fein supporters picketed PSNI headquarters last November. The party was protesting at the arrest of Padraic Wilson, a party member, as part of the police probe into the the murder. There is no suggestion that Mr Wilson took part in the killing or witnessed it. At the time Sinn Fein accused the PSNI of “political policing”.

“I am hopeful of new developments in the coming weeks and it is important that detectives investigating the case are given all the available evidence,” Ms McCartney told the Belfast Telegraph. And she accused Sinn Fein of “rank hypocrisy” if it fails to co-operate with police.

“I interpret their accusations of political policing as an attempt to intimidate,” she added.

Her brother was attacked in a bar packed with republicans and knifed outside it, but many of those in and around the bar said they saw nothing.

She recalled that the IRA told the family that it knew the identities of four people who were directly involved in the murder, two of whom were IRA members.

The family said that the IRA, who had by then ended its campaign, asked if the sisters wanted it to shoot those responsible.

“We remember the meetings very well and what they can do is pass on the information to the police. The IRA also said the knife was ground down and disposed of.

“The murder weapon is key evidence in any investigation and they won’t say who destroyed it.

“The IRA told us they knew who the killers were and that it was a criminal act. Yet they are protecting them by sitting on all this information and not handing it over. That is shameful,” she said.

Story so far

Catherine McCartney’s brother Robert was murdered outside a Belfast bar near St George’s Market in 2005, allegedly by republicans drinking there after returning from a Bloody Sunday commemoration. In the aftermath she and her four sisters, along with Robert’s partner Bridgeen, launched a worldwide campaign to bring the killers to book. The IRA, which had ended its campaign, launched an internal inquiry but many of those in the bar have yet to speak to police. Two men were charged but were acquitted of the murder in 2008.

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