Agonising wait for a grieving family

No-one charged with May Street murder as family told they may have to wait until Tuesday before body is returned

The Belfast family of murdered Short Strand man Robert McCartney may have to wait up to another week before the body of the father-of-two is released for burial, it has emerged.

The latest news will only compound the grief of the McCartney family.
Mr McCartney’s parents had returned from holiday to hear the news of their son’s fatal stabbing outside a city centre pub.

Mr McCartney was drinking at Magennis’s Whiskey Café in May Street at around 11pm on Sunday night with friends when a fight broke out and spilled into the street. He was found unconscious in Cromac Street but died later in hospital.

31-year-old North Belfast man Brendan Devine was also seriously injured during the fracas.

Deputy Mayor of Belfast, Joe O’Donnell, extended his sympathy to the grieving man’s family and said the whole Short Strand community was still in shock from the murder.

“The family is obviously distraught at the moment and my deepest sympathies go out to them.

“This man went out for a drink with friends and ended up dead. I just don’t know how they are coping," said the Sinn Fein councillor.

Last night a PSNI spokesperson said no one has yet been charged or is currently is being held in custody relation to the incident.

Seven people so far have been questioned and released without charge.
Allegations of PSNI ‘heavy handedness’ and of the ‘politicisation’ of the murder of the Belfast man have been rife, after a series of raids on homes of former republican prisoners in the Short Strand area. "I am in no way trying to take away from the grief of the McCartney family, they have my total sympathy at this time, but the fact remains some of the raids carried out by the PSNI have been politically motivated," said Cllr O’Donnell.

He added: “The PSNI are politicising Bert McCartney’s death.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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