IRA expulsions 'are not enough'

Robert McCartney, 33, was killed near Belfast city centre

The IRA's decision to expel three of its members over the killing of a man in Belfast does not go far enough, the Northern Ireland secretary has said.

Robert McCartney, a 33-year-old father-of-two, died after being stabbed near the city centre on 30 January.

Paul Murphy said Sinn Fein should follow his family's example and ask witnesses to go to the police.

He also paid tribute to the family and said he was impressed by the number of people who had shown support for them.

"It (the IRA) doesn't go far enough," he said.

"I hope they follow the lead of the McCartney family by telling people, if they know anything about this crime, they should go to the police.

"That should be the plea of every political party here in Northern Ireland, including Sinn Fein."

On Friday, the IRA said it had expelled three of its members over suspected involvement in the killing, a move the family welcomed but said did not go far enough.


Meanwhile, a motion demanding justice for the McCartney family is set to be debated at the city's council.

SDLP councillor Pat McCarthy said the motion condemned the killing and commended the family's courage.

Mr McCartney's family has blamed IRA members for the killing. They said those responsible must be forced to admit their role in his murder.

The motion, due to be debated on Tuesday night, calls upon the entire community to show "the same courage and dignity displayed by Mr McCartney's family".

Mr McCarthy represents the Markets area where the murder took place.

His motion also demands "an end to the intimidation of witnesses and calls upon the community to co-operate with the due process of the law to apprehend the organisers and perpetrators of this crime".

Mr McCarthy said he hoped the Sinn Fein members on Belfast City Council would support the motion.

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