2.2.05

Sinn Féin

Political point scoring after tragic death shameful

Published: 2 February, 2005

South Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Alex Maskey has said attempts by politicians to turn the tragic stabbing of a man outside a bar at the weekend into a political point scoring exercise is shameful and despicable.

Mr Maskey said:

" The killing of Robert McCartney after a fight in a Belfast bar at the weekend was wrong and an absolute tragedy particularly for his family. There is a growing violent knife culture in our society, which must be condemned, and this incident is an extension of that.

"However what has also been disturbing has been the shameful attempts of politicians with no interest or stake in the communities affected most by this death to try and score political points.

"Allegations have been made by Reg Empey, Sammy Wilson, Alaister McDonnell and now also Mark Durkan. This includes an outrageous claim that republicans are in some way covering up the events of Sunday night and orchestrating the recent trouble on the streets of the Markets. These allegations are clearly untrue and without foundation. There is no cover up and no orchestration of street violence. That is why none of these individuals have been able to produce one scrap of evidence to back up their claims.

" None of these individuals have set foot in either the Markets or the Short Strand in recent days unlike republicans who have been on the streets trying to maintain calm. Their interventions have not been motivated by any desire to help or assist the McCartney family or the local community but have instead been entirely motivated by a despicable desire to try and politick around the tragic death of a young father of two." ENDS

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