Thursday, March 03, 2005

Justice for Robert McCartney

In late January, a resident of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Robert McCartney, was murdered as a result of an altercation in a pub. An excellent article in Monday's Washington Post by Glenn Frankel makes clear that this was no ordinary bar fight. McCartney's killers were members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, and his five sisters have waged a heroic campaign to see that his murderers are brought to justice and sent to prison where they belong:

"Some of these guys are psychopaths, but no one does anything to stop them," Paula McCartney, one of Robert's sisters, said in an interview last week at her home in the Short Strand. "They're likened to the Mafia -- but frankly that's an insult to the Mafia."

The arrogance and brutality of the IRA is readily apparent in Frankel's chilling description of the murder:

On the night of Jan. 30, McCartney met two friends for drinks at Magennis's, located just across the Albert Bridge in the city center. A number of known republicans had gathered there as well, having just returned from a commemoration in the city of Derry to mark the 33rd anniversary of Bloody Sunday, in which 14 protesters were gunned down by the British soldiers.

The sisters said witnesses told them that Brendan Devine, one of McCartney's friends, became embroiled in a confrontation with the former commander over an alleged rude gesture to a girlfriend. "Do you know who I am?" the man bellowed at Devine.

The man signaled to one of his companions, who came up behind Devine and slit his throat. McCartney sought to shield Devine from further assaults and dragged his friend out to the sidewalk. Paula McCartney said her brother pleaded with Devine's attackers. "No one deserves this," she quoted him as saying.

More than a dozen men followed them outside, some armed with knives and metal sewer rods. Someone stabbed McCartney in the heart while others pounded his face and head. They left his body and that of Devine on the pavement.


The main obstacle faced by the McCartney sisters in their quest for justice has been the atmosphere of fear and intimidation generated by the IRA:

Brendan Devine survived and has told the sisters he will testify if the case comes to trial. The other friend who was present maintains he saw nothing after the argument began. There were 70 people at the bar that night, Paula McCartney said, but their silence is deafening. She said the IRA men involved disappeared for a while, but were seen walking the streets of the Short Strand last week. Seven people were arrested, but all of them have been released.

"I live here and I know the mentality of the area," Paula McCartney said. The IRA leader's "very presence here is a threat. He doesn't have to say anything to anybody."


However, just as in the Middle East, many residents of the Short Strand are no longer giving in to fear:

Still, the community made clear its anger and disapproval. More than 600 people turned out for a candlelight vigil and 1,000 mourners attended Robert McCartney's funeral.

"People always trusted the republican movement to be seen to be fair, but not now," said Willie Ward, a shopkeeper and community leader. "Everyone believes they're looking after their own interest first before that of the community. People no longer believe in them or trust them."


The murder of Robert McCartney has outraged much of the Catholic community in Northern Ireland. Even the Irish government has lent its support to the McCartney sisters. But as a February 25th article from the Times of London points out, barbarity is simply par for the course for the Short Strand IRA:

The IRA unit responsible for Mr McCartney’s death were once revered as freedom fighters, but are now looked upon with disgust and fear by their community, whose 3,000 inhabitants live behind a huge metal “peace line” separating them from 60,000 Protestant neighbours. The IRA men include the terrorist group’s former “officer commanding” in Belfast, another man said to have thrown his wife off a balcony and a suspected paedophile.

The unit is also credited with introducing a punishment shooting known as the “Padre Pio”, where youths have their hands tied together before they are shot through both wrists. The punishment is named after an Italian monk who bore the stigmata of Jesus’s wounds from the Cross.



Just as Colombia's FARC has made the transition from Marxist revolutionaries to narcoterrorists, so the IRA has gone from being a nationalist organization to one of the largest criminal enterprises in Europe. The IRA are now little more than gangsters and thugs who exploit the legitimate grievances of Northern Ireland's Catholics to justify their own criminality. If the IRA was truly committed to peace and to the well being of the community they claim to protect, they would surrender the murderers of Robert McCartney to the authorities to stand trial. The fact that they refuse to do this should tell people all they need to know about the IRA and Sinn Fein's real agenda.

9 Comments:

Blogger Pat said...

Great post. I am trying to drum up interest on this issue here in the US; from what I can see you seem to be the only other American blogger covering the story.

Pat from Brainster's Blog

1:21 PM  
Blogger kitty said...

I agree, GREAT POST!

3:34 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

The only heartening thing about this story is the fact that the people are taking a stand. It would also be nice if the Irish community in the US would stop funding these thugs and defending their actions--much like Muslims here won't hear a bad word said about their coreligionists who are murdering innocents throughout the world.

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree great post.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous kerry said...

i agree and i hope the McCartney sisters get justice for robert.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

after reading Avro Manhattan's
Religious terror in Ireland
everything is so clear.
I hope that the bloodshed in Ireland stops. But how can that happen when vatican sponsors terrorrism and brainwash people with its pagan rituals and pretending to preach the Gospel of
our only Saviour Jesus Christ.

I don't pray to dead people so i wont pray for Robert's Mc Carntey's soul but i can give the words of encouragement of Christ to the sisters of Robert that everyone will give his account to the Lord when He returns even those who pierced Him You brother in Christ John

4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

after reading Avro Manhattan's
Religious terror in Ireland
everything is so clear.
I hope that the bloodshed in Ireland stops. But how can that happen when vatican sponsors terrorrism and brainwash people with its pagan rituals and pretending to preach the Gospel of
our only Saviour Jesus Christ.

I don't pray to dead people so i wont pray for Robert's Mc Carntey's soul but i can give the words of encouragement of Christ to the sisters of Robert that everyone will give his account to the Lord when He returns even those who pierced Him You brother in Christ John

4:49 AM  
Anonymous Jonas L said...

Thank you for a great post. It's been a long time since I heard anything about this issue in any of the major media, and I certainly hope it will not be forgotten. The McCartney sisters need all the international support and encouragement they can get.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After following the whole events of this horrific murder, i ask why is this scum walking the streets???why does the leaders of sinn fein protect them???they all have blood on their hands and not one of them deserve to be where they are today. My heart goes to the McCartney family and real people with real hearts should stand with them!!

6:49 AM  

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