Thursday, September 15, 2005

The IRA: As Criminal as Ever

An infuriating article from today's Washington Post informs us that the IRA and its supporters have unleashed a sickening wave of violence and intimidation against the McCartney family, in retaliation for their heroic campaign to pursue justice for their murdered brother:

The family of Robert McCartney, a Catholic whose death at the hands of Irish Republican Army members in January caused international outrage and brought White House condemnation, said Wednesday it was being subjected to a campaign of violence and intimidation for speaking out forcefully against the IRA.

Paula McCartney, Robert's sister, said her two teenage sons were beaten recently by family members of a high-ranking IRA officer who they believe was involved in McCartney's killing. On Monday night, one of Robert McCartney's closest friends, Jeff Commander, was beaten with metal rods by a gang of men the McCartney family also contends are IRA members linked to the killing.

On Tuesday night, at least 50 people, mostly women, demonstrated outside the home of Bridgeen Hagans, McCartney's fiancee, vowing to return every night until she moves out of the neighborhood.

The IRA recently announced that it would disarm. However, much of its membership has clearly not abandoned criminality:

Even as the IRA has disarmed and lost much of its former clout, individual IRA members still "act as if they can do anything they want," said Jim Arnold, Paula McCartney's husband. "It's an absolute disgrace," said Arnold, a house painter. "They are dinosaurs. They live on the back of the IRA, but the IRA are finished, and they cannot grasp it. They won't move on."

Arnold said the people who took part in the McCartney killing are well known in the Short Strand. And he said that despite the IRA's claims that the men were expelled, they are still deeply involved with the paramilitary group. "This district is sickened by these people still parading around who were involved in Robert's murder," he said.


"They're trying to tell our family: Shut up or this is going to happen again," Arnold said. "The McCartney family opened a lot of eyes in Belfast."

Tragically, the efforts of the thugs are having some results:

Arnold and Paula McCartney, as well as Bridgeen Hagans, are making plans to move out of the neighborhood. "I can't live in a community where it is perfectly acceptable to murder an innocent man and still walk around freely," Paula McCartney said.

As long as the IRA refuses to abandon violence and intimidation and continues to prevent the murderers of Robert McCartney and others from being brought to justice, it and its political front organization Sinn Fein should be isolated and shunned. If the IRA cannot be trusted to comply with the rule of law, how can any other commitment it might make be believed. Any Irish-Americans who persist in donating to this pack of thugs should be deeply ashamed.


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