Hand yourselves in, McCartney family pleads

26/02/2005 - 13:00:09

The family of suspected IRA murder victim Robert McCartney today welcomed news that three members of the organisation have been expelled but called for all those involved in the incident to “hand themselves in”.

In a statement, the family of the Belfast father of two said they were encouraged by the IRA’s move to throw out three of its members following an internal investigation.

However, they challenged the version of events given by the IRA in its statement and insisted that members of the provisionals and others, regardless of their role, should allow themselves to be charged, tried and convicted in a trial.

The family statement said: “We are encouraged by the second IRA statement and view it as a step forward in our search for truth and justice.

“We welcome the fact that the IRA has accepted unequivocally that their members were involved in Robert’s cold-blooded murder and the subsequent cover and clean-up operation.

“We also welcome their assurances in relation to the intimidation of witnesses and hope that this will bear fruit.”

However in a reference to the IRA’s move against just three members, the family insisted more people needed to come forward to help the investigation into the fork lift driver’s stabbing and beating outside a Belfast city centre bar on January 30.

“The version of the event of January 30 as outlined by the (IRA) statement is not one family accepts as fact.

“The accuracy of this will only be confirmed or rejected when a trial takes place.

“It is, however, only when ALL those involved, that is those IRA members and others, regardless of how small a part they played in the murder and subsequent clean and cover up operation have handed themselves in and are charged, tried and convicted by the courts, that we as a family will be able to bring closure to this horrific ordeal and begin to grieve for Robert.”

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