The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
"Death by Suicide"

Letter to the Irish News

Margaret Quinn • 18 February 2005

It was with heart-felt thanks and admiration that I read Mr. John Kelly's excellent letter (Feb.14), in support of my son's letter (Gerard Quinn Feb. 11th), regarding the brutal murder of his cousin, and my nephew, Robert McCartney.

As Mr Kelly is probably well aware, engaging in any form of speech or writing critical of Sinn Fein policy - never mind the growing psychopathic element within the IRA - is, these days, an increasingly dangerous exercise. Thus, Mr Kelly's brave support is all the more welcome by the family of our much-loved Robert. We are deeply grateful to Mr Kelly, while only wish there were more of his calibre and integrity within the nationalist-republican family.

As Gerard's mother, I am extremely proud of him for his courageous stance. But I also fear for him. Defying gangsters and murderers who demand that we keep quiet about the senseless slaughter of Robert by Shankill Butcher-types and psychopathic cowards, disguised as our so-called 'protectors', is a very dangerous business.

But, if an innocent, well-respected, young man like Robert, out for a drink with friends, can be pounced upon and fatally stabbed within minutes of entering a public house - in full view of 72 witnesses - simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, then we, the family, must speak out for justice.

Robert's murder was a heinous crime. A crime that will be visited on other innocents, unless and until those responsible are brought to account. And we as a family must face that risk too in our effort to encourage witnesses to give evidence. For how else, other than gaining justice for Robert, could we live with our consciences the next time a mother buries her innocent child, murdered by the same hands that so callously took Robert's young life?

I am also proud of my nieces, Gemma, Paula, Catherine, Donna and Clare, Robert's sisters, and his fiancée, Bridgeen, mother of his two beautiful little sons. Despite their unbearable grief, they tirelessly flag up the well-known fact that, while Robert's murder may not have been 'sanctioned,' it WAS committed by scum in the IRA who, by association, disgrace the entire organisation. The six women also point out that the subsequent cover-up, and threats to prevent witnesses from giving evidence, emanate from the highest level of Sinn Fein and the IRA. For me, this makes them accomplices after the fact in my nephew's unjustifiable murder.

On the other hand, I refuse to believe that every single member of our one-time protectors are not as disgusted by Robert's murder as the McCartney family itself. Indeed, I believe that countless decent IRA members are not merely disgusted by it, but totally repulsed.

Both the vigil to honour my nephew and his subsequent funeral were attended by numerous people who remain supporters of Sinn Fein - for now anyway. The ball has been placed firmly at the feet of the Sinn Fein leadership. Henceforth, their words and actions will be scrutinised by all but their most blind adherents and sycophants. Thus, the leadership will determine its own political future.

As pointed out by Mr Kelly, my son and many others, Robert McCartney's horrific murder was a civil crime, not a political act. If Sinn Fein's leaders fail to publicly and unambiguously call on every person with information regarding this crime to give that information to the police - everything, from the seemingly insignificant to the perpetrators' names - then I see, in the not too distant future, Sinn Fein's headstone etched with the words, "Death By Suicide".













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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

18 February 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

"Death by Suicide"
Margaret Quinn

But Will Anyone Object
Brian Mór

Seeking Justice for a Brother
Davy Adams

Perspective and Perception
Eamonn McCann

Only One Option Left, Really
Mick Hall

Trust Your Leaders!
James Connolly

A perfect 10 for Bertie's volte-face on the peace process
Anthony McIntyre

Distress vs Illness: Social Control
Sean Fleming

Double Visions Conference
Seaghan O Murchu

No More Lies

14 February 2005

An Ireland of Equals Will Not Be Built on Fear
Gerard Quinn

'Law and Order' From Behind a Balaclava
John Kelly

Where Are the Guards of Honour?
Sean Magee

Losing Hearts and Minds
Mick Hall

Protest? You're Having a Laugh
Michael Benson

Brian Mór

When A Leader Deserts His Men
Anthony McIntyre

No News
James Fitzharris

I Didn't Know Her, But I Did
Fred A. Wilcox

Parents Must Fight Bigotry
David Adams



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