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McCartney sisters attack plan to honour Provo chief Davison

By Suzanne Breen

Published 02/05/2016

Jock Davison
Jock Davison
Robert McCartney, who his sisters allege was murdered on the orders of Jock Davison

The sisters of Robert McCartney are seeking an urgent meeting with the Victims' Commissioner over plans to honour the IRA leader whom they believe ordered his murder.

A memorial event is due to take place in the Markets area of south Belfast to Jock Davison on Friday.

His supporters will gather to honour the 47-year-old near the spot in Welsh Street where he was shot dead a year ago by a lone gunman.

The McCartneys say that, after a fight broke out in Magennis's bar in January 2005, Davison drew a finger across his throat in a signal for his henchmen to kill Robert.

There are reports that a plaque could be unveiled to Davison.

Catherine McCartney last night told the Belfast Telegraph: "It is nauseating that there is to be a memorial to Jock Davison and yet there is nothing commemorating my brother.

"Jock Davison brought death and destruction into the community. Robert, and others like him, never harmed a hair on the head of anybody else. Why are there not memorials to innocent victims, the ordinary people who just went about their daily business and hurt nobody?

"Robert lay in a pool of blood dying just yards from where this gathering will be held. He had been beaten, kicked and stabbed.

"I am seeking a meeting with the Victims' Commissioner, Judith Thompson, to discuss this matter."

Ms McCartney said that her family would oppose any attempt to whitewash Davison's past.

"Holding this commemoration for him is like the Catholic Church paying tribute to Brendan Smyth without mentioning his rape of children," she said.

"Jock Davison was not a positive person in the community. His legacy is one of death and mutilation. There are dozens of families who lost loved ones because of him or who had loved ones beaten to a pulp in alleyways in the dark of night."

She added: "We shouldn't allow paramilitaries to dictate the narrative of our communities. They have no sense of decency.

"They won't let tragedies settle and they then have the nerve to accuse victims of dragging up the past."

The memorial to Davison, a local community worker, is advertised on the Facebook page of the Markets Development Association.

It says that as republicans commemorate the centenary of the 1916 leaders' execution and the 35th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike, "it is only fitting that the Market also remembers one of the legendary figures to emerge from the latest phase of the republican struggle. Our very own Gerard Jock Davison".

The advertisement shows a photograph of Davison beside images of Bobby Sands, Che Guevara, and James Connolly.

Ms McCartney said: "There was nothing legendary about Jock Davison.

"It does a great disservice to Bobby Sands, the 1916 leaders, and Che Guevara to even mention them in the same breath as Davison. He was a thug, a bully boy and, our family believes, a police informer."

Ms McCartney said that she believed that any planned memorial was about "marking territory" and could be "in breach of equality legislation".

TUV leader Jim Allister described the memorial as "wholly inappropriate".

He said: "I would have thought that a more fitting commemoration for the community would be catching those responsible for the murder of Jock Davison and Kevin McGuigan. Trying to glorify someone with Mr Davison's past is absolutely wrong."

Mr Allister said there were potentially legal issues about planning permission if a plaque was proposed or if anything was to be erected on public property. He also raised concerns about the Markets Development Association advertising the memorial.

"This is a group which receives public funding and questions must be asked if that group is seen to be promoting someone as notorious as Mr Davison," he said.

Jock Davison was arrested in connection with the murder of Robert McCartney, a 33-year-old father-of-two from the Short Strand. He denied involvement in the killing. "I totally refute that," he said at the time. He also rejected claims that he was a Special Branch informer.

His uncle, Terry Davison, was charged with Robert's murder but was acquitted in 2008.

Davison was shot dead near his home last May as he made his way to work. Three months later, Kevin McGuigan - whom the IRA blamed for Davison's murder - was gunned down outside his Short Strand home.

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