The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

The Murder of Robert McCartney


Conor Horan • 14 April 2005

I want to first openly state that I am an Irish republican and I have researched the Mc Cartney murder and the reactions, allegations and so on in the aftermath of the murder of Robert Mc Cartney. I would also like to genuinely give deepest condolences to Robert’s fiancée, two sons, five sisters and the wider family on this brutal murder which took Robert so cruelly away from them. I would also like to stress that I fully support and embrace the family’s struggle for Justice.

The first issue I want to confront is the allegations of IRA or/and Sinn Fein involvement in the murder. It is without doubt that Robert Mc Cartney was murdered by members of the IRA but what is crucial and is often left out of media reports is that they were never acting under any orders from the IRA but as selfish individuals who exploited their positions as members of this organisation and used the name of the IRA to murder Robert, carry out a clean up operation and spread extreme fear among those who may be crucial witnesses the events leading up to the murder, and the murder itself of this innocent man. So it is clear that no member of the IRA who was on active service was involved in the murder and the IRA as an organisation was not involved. In relation to the Sinn Fein members I understand that they have been suspended because they were in the bar and may possibly have witnessed events that could be crucial in bringing about Justice for Robert but they have never even been accused of being actually involved in the altercations. To put in to reports of an “IRA murder” into context is it fair to say that if a number of PSNI officers who were off duty were involved in a fight and murdered a man that the PSNI killed this man? Of course not.

Another problem in the aftermath of the murder is the way that opponents of Sinn Fein or/and used the murder as a political football and possibly exploiting the situation or indeed the family’s campaign for justice. There were allegations of a republican ex-prisoner of being the leader of the campaign and the real brain of the campaign however I have no evidence to prove this to be the case but it is clear that this man’s online journal has been the place where much information has originated from and indeed where the Mc Cartney family members have expressed their views but whether or not “Mr Blanket” is the head of the campaign remains to be seen.

The sisters of Robert Mc Cartney may have been subject to harsh words within the public at times in that people may be saying “I’m sick of them” or the sorts but it is wrong to say this as anyone has the right to do whatever they can to receive justice for a murdered loved one. What is wrong however is the way in which the Mc Cartneys may have at times used the murder of their brother to bring into disrepute Irish republicanism in general. I have heard the sisters say many a time how “it is not in our interests to damage the republican movement” but before they flew out to the USA one of the sisters told the media how “we are going out to America to take away any romantic view of the republican struggle the American people may have.” That is the only thing that has ever caused annoyance to me and indeed many republicans about the Mc Cartney sisters and their campaign for Justice.

The campaign for Justice is totally legitimate and the family of Robert Mc Cartney have every right to do anything they think may progress their campaign for Justice but it is wrong for anyone to use the murder to ‘IRA bash’ or ‘Sinn Fein bash.’

The struggle for the Mc Cartney family and indeed the wider community who want justice for this innocent victim of butchery should not be one against the republican movement but one against the individuals who carried out the murder, and the family and indeed many people say they know the identities of the murderers. Any intimidation before the murder or indeed now in the campaign for justice is quite frankly sickening and should be condemned by everyone, in particular the disgraceful insults received by the women giving out leaflets last night (13/04/2005). It is ridiculous for anyone to suggest that there has been intimidation or threats coming from the Mc Cartney side as it would simply not be in their interests and it is this sort of crime that the family are campaigning against.

The reality is that political policing has occurred and this is disgraceful yet there was no big deal made over this. A top suspect wanting to be questioned presented himself to a PSNI station a number of weeks back and was basically told to go away and come back, this is totally unacceptable and shows how the PSNI wanted to exploit the situation to damage the republican movement.

The Justice for Robert campaign must continue until these criminals who took away the life of a young innocent father are put behind bars where they belong and the wider community gets a sense of justice. The bravery and persistence of the Mc Cartney family must be applauded and their campaign is not just for them but a campaign for the whole community as everyone deserves to see justice in the after math of a crime against not only Robert Mc Cartney, the Short Strand and wider Belfast community.









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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

19 April 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

Another Historic Statement, Again
Anthony McIntyre

Two Heads Better Than One?
Brian Mór

Hope for A Democractic Avenue, Not a Dead End Street
Mick Hall

Irish American Support
Niall Fennessy

Street Fighting Man
Fred A Wilcox

Revolutionaries Have Set Up Dictatorship
Margaret Quinn

The Murder of Robert McCartney
Conor Horan

The Missing Ingredient
Ruairi O’Driscoll

Re-orienting perspectives: Bob Quinn's The Atlantean Irish
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Politics of Peace at an Impasse
David Adams

* Election Coverage *

Independent Irish Republicans Standing in All 6 Counties
Sean Mc Aughey

John Coulter

Gary Donnelly, Cityside Ward, Derry City Council

Aine Gribbon, Antrim Town Council

Patricia (Trish) Murray, Antrim Town Council

The Letters page has been updated.

6 April 2005

Criminality and Public Relations
Eamon Sweeney

Truth Better than Spin
Mick Hall

The Central Issue is Justice
Catherine McCartney

Not Out of Nationalist Woods Yet
David Adams

South Down Election Play
John Coulter

Are We on the Verge of a New Political Ice Age?
Anthony McIntyre



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