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My plea to councillor over brother's murder

The launch of the new investment strategy is good news for Belfast. It should have left my family and I with a sense of optimism for the future.

However, the image of Belfast councillor Deirdre Hargey smiling proudly alongside Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson left me feeling despondent.

In 2005, my brother, Robert, was murdered by Sinn Fein and IRA members. Ms Hargey was present in what was then Magennis's Bar at the time of the lead-up to the attack.

She and up to 70 others claimed to have heard nothing, seen nothing and they said nothing. She refused - again like the majority of the others - to co-operate with the PSNI. This was excused by Sinn Fein on the basis of its political stance regarding the police at that time.

Seven years on, all and sundry claim we are in a new dispensation. Deirdre Hargey has not yet spoken directly to the PSNI about Robert's murder.

The time for Ms Hargey to do so is long overdue and I am calling on her again to go directly to the PSNI and provide them with a statement.

The investigation into Robert's murder was impeded by the IRA's and Sinn Fein's actions/omissions, at the time. There is no longer any excuse (apart from protecting their own) for any objection to co-operating with the PSNI.

There is a wealth of information on the streets regarding the events of that night and my family believe that, if this was forthcoming, a fresh investigation could lead to convictions.

Deirdre Hargey's direct engagement with the PSNI is paramount and I am challenging her, in the interest of justice, to come forward immediately.

CATHERINE McCARTNEY

Belfast

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