IRA not involved in killing

Daily Ireland
8 Feb 2005

The detective heading the investigation into the
murder of a Belfast man nine days ago has said he does
not believe the IRA was involved in the killing.
Speaking to reporters yesterday at the spot where
Robert McCartney was fatally stabbed on January 30,
Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Dunwoody said, “At the
minute, we believe there is nothing to suggest this
was carried out by an organisation in pursuance of its
organisational aims and objectives.”
The senior detective’s comments come a week after the
PSNI raided the homes of republicans in the Short
Strand and Markets areas in connection with the
murder. The raids sparked outrage in the communities
where a number of stone-throwing incidents broke out.
Mr McCartney was killed after a bar room brawl in
Magennis’s Whiskey Café in the city centre spilled out
onto the street.
Brendan Devine, a man who had been drinking with Mr
McCartney, remains in hospital being treated for stab
wounds endured during the fight.
Seven people have been arrested and questioned about
the murder of Mr McCartney but no one has been
During yesterday’s press conference, Detective Chief
Inspector Dunwoody appealed for motorists who were in
the area of May Street and Cromac Street on the night
of January 30 to come forward. He also refused to
comment on claims that masked men went into Magennis’s
immediately after the brawl and seized closed-circuit
television tapes from staff.
“We have actually seized a considerable amount of CCTV
from the bar and surrounding premises. There is also a
suggestion that there may not have been CCTV in the
bar in the first place,” added the chief inspector.
The detective confirmed that the PSNI had established
500 lines of inquiry into Mr McCartney’s death.
Detective Chief Inspector Dunwoody said, “As of this
morning, we have established just under 500 lines of
inquiry. We are investigating the murder of an
innocent person. No matter what happened, nobody had
the right to do what they did to Robert McCartney.”
The detective also refused to comment on claims that
Mr McCartney had been acting as a peacemaker during
the pub brawl.
The funeral of Robert McCartney is due to take place
at 11am today at St Matthew’s Church in the Short
Strand. The 33-year-old father of two is survived by
his partner Bridgeen and children Conlaed and Brandon.
Last Friday evening, friends and neighbours of Mr
McCartney held a vigil in his memory. Belfast Deputy
Mayor Joe O’Donnell, who knew the murder victim,
described him as “a respected member of the community.”

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