a large population of the region I was disgusted
by the brutal attack on Robert McCartney and his
friend Brendan Devine outside Magennis' Bar in Belfast
city centre on 30th January. As the sordid details
of this tragic event unfolded before our eyes on
the streets of the Short Strand area of Belfast
and in the local and national press it became harder
to stomach. Did members of the Provisional IRA viciously
murder Mr McCartney in cold blood and leave both
men they attacked to bleed to death in the street?
To subsequently cover up the crime including intimidating
witnesses not to go forward to the authorities?
been born and raised within West Belfast I was not
shocked by the allegation that was initially put
forth by the sisters of the dead man. I am aware
of how in the past and present the Republican Movement
have engaged in street justice as a tool to enable
their control of our areas. This can be firmly illustrated
by the numerous punishment beatings and killings
carried out by the PIRA and its close associates
over the last several decades in Belfast and beyond.
the Republican historical context this "justice"
has been explained away as community policing. Sinn
Fein and its allies highlighting the ineffectiveness
of the RUC to police nationalist areas meant gaining
some grass roots support for their structures of
control. The familiar line that I recall in the
late eighties and early nineties was" Step
out of line and you have to present yourself at
into account the acknowledged unacceptability of
the RUC within our communities, their collusion
with numerous loyalist death squads and their actions
as a tool for British state control of nationalist
communities since its birth I agree that the RUC
could never effectively 'police'. (I don't feel
that its new face the PSNI is currently much different)
Therefore I do not agree with but understand the
sentiment that may arise when encouraging people
to deal directly with the security forces.
what transpires when it is these so called "protectors"
of our communities that savagely attack, beat, kick,
stab one man to death and one to near death? What
made the actions of those murderers any better than
those of the Shankill butchers who killed and maimed
in a similar way. Were they fuelled by sectarian
hatred and centuries of conflict? Where they out
for revenge for the murder of someone they loved?
Or where they merely thugs who believed they where
'untouchables', just as Al Capone did before Elliot
Ness took him down.
McCartney Family may well be the PIRA's Elliot Ness.
They have conviction and belief that I would like
to think given the same set of circumstances I would
afraid to stand up for themselves and the memory
of their murdered brother, partner, father, son,
nephew, cousin. They are taking on a face that the
British state in its entirety could not defeat.
used their voices well in highlighting the unacceptable
event that caused the death of Robert. They strongly
demanded answers from the men in suits who claim
to represent the murderers. After the usual denial
and accusations of demonisation, no party line was
going to save them face in this situation. The subsequent
expulsion of both PIRA members and Sinn Fein representatives
weeks after the murder did not satisfy anyone who
had been fighting for justice. The offer to shoot
the men responsible and reenact some of that 'street
justice' was declined by the family who want to
see the people responsible stand in a court and
be charged with murder. That is of course an acceptable
demand for a grieving family to make.
is here however that my understanding with the grieving
family ends. The death of Robert McCartney has evolved
into a media circus. Members of every political
grouping both nationalist and unionist, locally
and internationally, and numerous other people are
giving us their " two cents worth". Individuals
such as Ian Paisley and his 'mini me' who would
have shed no tears for Robert had he been murdered
by loyalists or factions of the British State.
my main contention was the family's meeting with
the President of the USA, Mr George " War criminal"
Bush. Bush has never shown any regard or interest
in Irish politics (With the exception of using Shannon
Airport as a temporary US Airbase). The two times
he was on the island of Ireland thousands protested
against his presence as he used the space provided
for a war summit.
is a man responsible for the current "War on
Terror", A war that has seen the destruction
of two countries and the subsequent illegal occupations
of both Afghanistan and Iraq. With hundreds of thousands
of body bags to count for the millions he and his
cohorts are making in profit. How can this brutal
cold blooded man who uses his own private army to
carry out his pursuit of power and fanatical ideas,
be any better than one who kills with his own hands.
Bush has more blood on his hands than the PIRA has
in its whole existence. George Bush has more blood
on his hands than the murderers of Robert McCartney
cannot see how this meeting contributes to the family's
thirst for justice. I see only how it enables the
circus to continue. Further isolating Sinn Fein
(which for the record I don't mind) on a global
basis and aiding the British State to do what the
have wanted for centuries, force Irish resistance
to British control into irrelevancy.
I have no right to confront this grieving family
with anything as they have suffered enough.
I would plead to the family of Robert McCartney
to remember every one of those poor innocent men,
women and children wiped out in Afghanistan and
Iraq and also the nations that the USA funds the
continued oppression of.
the McCartney family be asking Mr. Bush about justice
for the countless thousands of dead?
the McCartney family demand that Mr Bush explains
funding Israel's war machine to the tune of billions
the orphan child on the streets of Iraq have anyone
to cry to, or the mother clutching her dead child,
who will listen to their cry for justice?
the children being shot on their way to school in
Palestine have anyone to fight for their case for
are these lives and cries for justice of the thousands
dead and oppressed and their families not as important
as that of Robert McCartney and his family?