Arthur’s quest for justice
A north Belfast man whose father was murdered 37 years ago by the IRA is asking the Chief Constable and the Police Ombudsman to reopen the case. Arthur Rafferty was shot on September 8, 1974 in Newington Street. The 56 year old Catholic civilian died three weeks later.
His son, also called Arthur Rafferty, believes he knows exactly who his father’s murderer is and is calling for him to stand trial, even though he believes the man was working for the British Government and is being protected by them.
He told the Community Telegraph: “My father was murdered 37 years ago — I know who the people who murdered him are, for 37 years I have been fighting for justice for him.
“I have contacted Nigel Dodds, and Robin Newton about this, and phoned the Historical Enquiries Team and phoned the Policing Board.
“I want to speak to the PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott but he says he can’t find the time.”
Arthur says the Police Ombudsman’s office had been investigating the incident but ran out of funding.
“But I’ve told them all they have to do is go to England and arrest him and bring him back to stand trial.
“I was at the Policing Board meeting in the Grove [Leisure Centre] and I told the PSNI Area Commander Andy Freeburn that I want this man brought back for the murder of my father — and 20 to 30 other people.
“He put that to Mr Baggott but there has still been no answer.
“Mr Dodds wrote to him twice too, and he is still refusing to meet with me.
“I want my father’s case heard, it has been 37 years and there is still no justice,” added Arthur Rafferty.
North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said he has contacted chief constable Matt Baggott on Mr Rafferty’s behalf. “Arthur's concern is why this man is not being investigated.
“Other people have been brought back and arrested and tried, why is this
man not being investigated?” he adked.
“I have asked the Chief Constable to meet Arthur but so far he has said no. The Superintendent wrote back on his behalf recently and said no, he couldn't add anything and there is nothing to be gained by a meeting. I'll be continuing to press for a meeting,” he added.
Robin Newton, a Policing Board Member said he was motivated to support Mr Rafferty because of his work on behalf of people from all sides of the community who are suffering from the killer disease Asbestosis.
“I have been lobbying through the official channels of the Policing Board to bring this person or persons back to Northern Ireland. All official avenues of inquiry must be used and I am currently seeking advice on this matter,” he continued.
A PSNI spokesperson said: “The Chief Constable's office has responded directly in relation to this matter on three separate occasions within the last year and addressed the questions raised in these responses.”