THE vigil held in memory of murder victim Robert McCartney was much larger than I expected, with well over 1,000 people in attendance. Clearly, Mr McCartney’s death has caused tremendous hurt to the Short Strand community.
It was a short, dignified ceremony, and the family of the victim obviously have the support of a large section of the community in their area. There were a few politicians there, amongst them the Lord Mayor, Alliance’s Tom Ekin, and his Deputy, Joe O’Donnell, of Sinn Fein.
What anger there is in the Short Strand at whoever killed Robert was replaced by sorrow for the vigil.
However, some people later expressed how unhappy they were at how the family have had to endure the innuendo that has surrounded Robert’s death.
The family gathered in their Mountpottinger home afterwards, and as well-wishers called in, they seemed to appreciate the way that the community has rallied around them at this difficult time. The body is now in the family home. It wasn’t expected to be returned until later, but since it has, the funeral can now go ahead on Tuesday.
The family has appealed for anyone with information on the murder to come forward. It will be interesting to see if the omerta holds, or if justice is allowed to proceed.