IRA commander calls killers to give themselves up

One of the mysteries of the McCartney killing finally sufaces. Gerard “Jock” Davison has a reputation, amongst Republicans at least, for his exceptional calm and straightforwardness. Today, he categorically denies any involvement in the killing of Robert McCartney. Indeed he also claims that he was stabbed in the same incident.

  • peteb

    Yeah, Mick, first he claims “There is not a snowball’s chance in hell that I would even involve myself in an incident like that.”.. and then admits he was injured during the “incident”.. I wouldn’t exactly call that being straightforward.

  • Dec


    A fuller transcription of the interview is here:(

  • Occasional Commenter

    He says:

    “I totally refute that, it’s actually an insult to say that I was . . . even that implication, that you ordered somebody to kill a man.”

    A self confessed IRA member is insulted at the suggestion he might kill people?

  • peteb


    That’s a report that includes the information that the ‘straightfoward’ Mr Davison refused to answer questions about whether he has been dismissed from the IRA or if he is the senior republican described in last week’s IRA statement on the murder

    The purpose of this ‘interview’ (to the Daily Ireland) would seem to be to make everyone aware the Mr Davison does not consider himself to have been involved in the “incident”.

  • Dec


    Mick providedthat description, not Mr Davison, to be fair. However I think your first comment was a bit mischievous as when he refers to the incident he is clearly talking about what occured after he was attacked.

    Are you surprised he’s putting forward his version of events after recent press coverage?

  • peteb

    Dec, as I said –

    The purpose of this ‘interview’ (to the Daily Ireland) would seem to be to make everyone aware that Mr Davison does not consider himself to have been involved in the “incident”.

  • Dec


    Sorry missed your italics first time round.

  • Allrightthinkingpeople

    Jock is a good, principled man and someone of integrity and patience. I am glad that he has (uncharacteristically) been allowed to do this and that Daily Ireland, thankfully, affords us a chance to see the truth rather than the venemous rantings of some biased hack.
    I would believe Jock without qualification and I think that the arguments above that he is evasive are specious. The man says he can’t say he is the senior republican metioned in the IRA statement because of legal reasons. Now, it is my contention that what he is saying here takes no great act of interpretative gymnastics to figure out. Unless, of course, one wants to lambaste republicans for being evasive regardless of how straightforward they are.

  • Tomasmaguire

    Dia daoibh, As an ex-prisoner who has known personally the characters whose names are being bandied about in the media, two things immediately lept out at me regarding this latest development. Firstly, Jock must be under immense personal pressure to have come out publically and comment on the incident, no active republican would ever contemplate such a public declaration unless s/he felt they had nowhere else to go for a voice … in my view, rather than ‘taking responsibility for his actions’ as strongly suggested by the bearded one, its a double bluff for the big Jock fella. Typical of the big lad he has opted for a full frontal attack against his accusers, he’s intelligent enough to know that his interview may add more flames to the increasingly fierce volley of accusations against him yet its a risk worth taking as he has now given himself breathing space from former comrades in Oglaigh Na h-Eireann determined to see him “take responsibility for his actions.” Taking the innocent victim role while cleverly laying out a future lesser sentence defence strategy should he ever be formally charged with this brutal ‘domestic’ killing. Secondly, as I write this Im wondering how the other lads involved, some of whom I spent long years with in gaol with, will feel reading the Daily Ireland interview this evening. Having seen one of their ceannfort’s attacked, having defended + protected Big Jock’s honour, having wiped his blood off the tables and chairs, having been arrested by RUC/PSNI, targeted and vilified by the media of all hues. Then having had to come to terms with the unimaginable nightmare of being dismissed by the ‘Ra, dumped by the politically pragmatic Sinn fein , snubbed by the local republicans, been accussed of having degraded the name + honourable tradition of Militant Irish Republicanism and worst of all branded as a ‘vicious murderer’ by the markets and short strand community. On top of all that, faced with that sickening feeling in your gut in those first seconds as you wake each morning + the prospect of 12-15 years in Maghaberry as a domestic prisoner for what might have seemed at the time to be the (albeit drunken) defence of a comrade against a known hood in a bar row you might consider today that the Jock fella has been less than loyal to you (he’s thrown you to the wolves) and given half a chance he’ll sink you just to look after number one for thats what that manipulative pitiful ‘poor me’ victim role is all about!! A chairde, there is more that one tragedy in this whole sorry, sickening episode and there is no shame in admitting you as decent republicans made a terrible mistake in defending what you thought was a comrade. Surely the real shame now is not facing up to it … do the right thing, clear the air and let the Mc Cartney family begin to grieve for Robert properly !

  • PaddyCanuck

    Is this guy one of those expelled? Media reports have said that the leading IRA member involved was not expelled? Any clarification?

  • mickhall

    TomasMaguire is correct, this is pitiful stuff, The Daily Ireland interview with Davidson was the strangest article I have ever read in a newspaper. No comment, no opinion, it is as if this man has walked into the editors office, said right im putting my side of the storey, get your pen out. It is as if the editor allowed it to happen as she had little choice but wanted no part of it. Thus she does not push Davidson, question him further when he is obviously snowing us. (the readership) Simply prints what he said. Perhaps the paper should be renamed the Daily Davidson, I was just beginning to like it as well. The full article can be found here.

    Daily Ireland article

  • peteb

    I added the necessary Mick.. just to tidy up the page.

  • peteb

    let’s try that link again

    Daily Ireland article

  • Allrightthinkingpeople

    Dia duit, a Thomáis,
    Regardless of the fact that I think one of the comrades who spent time in prison with you and who tore Robert McCartney’s body to pieces with knives is nothing but a hood himself who inveigled his way into an honourable movement, I think your criticism of big Jock is uncalled for.
    He’s an honourable man who has defended his community and the republican cause with integrity and courage, not some kind of pathetic traitor who’s now trying to drop his mates in it.
    B’fhéidir, mar an gcéanna le alán de na niar-chimí, go bhfuil aidhneas agat nach bhfuil bainteach le polaitíocht nó réasún, ach le nithí pearsanta?
    I don’t think that Jock can shoulder the yoke for that yobbo from the Markets who carried the murder out.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Allright, was Jock one of those expelled?

  • Davros

    B’fhéidir, mar an gcéanna le alán de na niar-chimí, go bhfuil aidhneas agat nach bhfuil bainteach le polaitíocht nó réasún, ach le nithí pearsanta?

    Out of Interest, could we have a translation please ?

  • Allrightthinkingpeople


    Can’t figure that one out, mate, but can’t see why he would be. Maybe he was considered vicariously responsible because they were under him, but I doubt it.

  • Tomasmaguire

    Dia libh,

    just to translate the Gaeilge part of allrightthinkingpeople’s last post. I think its most revealing 🙂

    B’fhéidir, mar an gcéanna le alán de na niar-chimí, go bhfuil aidhneas (?) agat nach bhfuil bainteach le polaitíocht nó réasún, ach le nithí pearsanta?

    Perhaps, the same as with a lot of ex-prisoners, that my (sic) intention (aim, purpose – aidhm) isnt connected with politics nor justification but rather personal attacks?

    And so you have it, Stalinism is alive and well!!! If you cant reasonably challange the argument then sure have a wee stab, sadly in this case using our mother tongue (poorly), at the writer and sure while you are at it why not tarnish a whole swathe of ex-prisoners or indeed it would seem, anyone has an opinion different to yours.

    Are your values usually so inconsistant … A case in point, in terms of this vicious murder you choose not to label everyone as you have done above by adopting the exact opposite approach namely that the knifeman is the only one at fault and that Jock and the rest of the volunteers present are somehow blameless? Thats a bit of twisted thinking is it not?

    As for your remarks about Dim? Who green booked him? Who, until today, backed him 100%? Answers on a post card ….

    My point stands and i would like to add that those involved, including Jock should go personally to that family and make themselves accountable to them, asking for their compassion and forgiveness for murdering their kin and let those who have lost the most decide their fate … would that not be an honourable courageous act which better reflects the decency you bestoe on Big Jock? Rather than a shrewd manipulative headcase who having been involved in this horror, threatened all and sundry has now, in his own self interest, jettisoned the very comrades who so loyally came to his defence that night.

    N.B Ive never before felt compelled to write anything anywhere before this, I have nothing but love and respect for Republicanism and my republican comrades and it gives me no pleasure to have written the above … still injustice is injustice and as always, tragically … the bully taunts the brave !!!

  • Davros

    Thanks for the translation Tomas.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    I find the nudge/wink nature of this thread disturbing as the contributions to it seem to rely upon facts which are hidden from public view.

    Am I misunderstanding here or is it being alleged that McCartney attempted to attack a republican ? And somehow other republicans needed protecting ? This is a version of events that hasn’t been described before. I have serious difficulty believing that any of it is true.

  • alex s

    Tomasmaguire, you made a lot of valid points, its fairly obvious that the statement in the paper is an attempt to prepare the ground for the next move, if I was involved myself I would be getting nervous, the IRA is the same as any organisation, the ‘top floor’ always look after themselves, some poor suckers at the bottom are going to get shafted, big style!

  • PaddyCanuck

    Roger, If you read the Daily Ireland article you will see that it is claimed that Devine, not McCartney carried out an attack.

    Whether this is true is another matter. But Devine is the “Hood” that is refferred too. And his form as a hood as been alluded to before on this site. Nothing new there.

  • Davros

    I think this stinks. There’s obviously something more going on behind the scenes, internal politics and faction fighting ?

  • JD

    I just heard on the news that Gerry Adams handed a list of seven (now suspended) SF members alleged by the family to have been involved with the McCartney murder over to the police ombudsman.

  • GavBelfast

    This just gets more and more bizarre, talk about smoke and mirrors.

    Isn’t it simply confirming the one truism of the whole sorry, tragic affair that, as Eamonn McCann said, all paramilitarism in this part of the world has had its say.

    What on earth are they (and their alter egos) for?

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Paddy, thank you for that clarification but I still find it all hard to believe.

    I don’t think this thread has moved things on. The IRA or SF haven’t accused anyone publicly of attempting to assault them nor have they suggested that this was the background to the events. It seems strange that they would keep the story to themselves given the damage they are incurring over it. And finally it hardly seems at all sensible mentioning it since the guy who ended up worst off wasn’t the one who supposedly attacked them.

    Adams has made his next move by expelling people, again I’m suspicious because it could have been done weeks ago. Still it is progress, and to me it does look like Adams is taking risks rather than just talking.

  • Hardy Handshake


    Talk to whom about what exactly ? What risks is he taking ? It’s crystal the only reason they’ve done anything is that the tight-lipped know-nothing angle has achieved nothing. It’s not taking risks, it’s a bredrudgery-laden path of calculated minimal resitance,it’s as opportunistic as it is shambolic – appropriate indeed for an armchair general such as Adams.

  • tadgh

    1) Armchair general? No. 2) Opportunistic? Yes.

    1) In the aftermath of this tragic event Adams is giving his troops the chance to come clean and offer admissions of involvement / guilt in this horrific crime perpetrated against their constituency. Me thinks Adams realizes the absolute necessity of offering some measure of a real solution (justice) that involves disavowing not just the actions but actually some of the members of the provisional republican movement, which is unprecedented. Let’s see what transpires in the next few days – Adams and SF are under enormous pressure in Ireland and internationally. This must be made right.

    2) Opportunistic – absolutely. As crass as this sounds, these tragic events in the Short Strand and the horrific loss for the McCartney family and the republican community may just be the unexpected catalyst that offers the provisional republican movement / SF the opportunity to begin to move beyond criminality and intimidation. What I mean is the transition from armed conflict to cease fire to true democratic politics was always going to be a difficult road for SF. For SF to move forward they must handle this tragic situation properly by using their influence to attain some reasonable measure of justice that satisfies the McCartney’s and multiple constituencies involved in the peace process. I expect Mr. Adams realizes the enormity of this situation.

  • Allrightthinkingpeople

    Just to comment on your trivial denunciation of my Irish Tomás; “aidhneas” means contempt, and that’s exactly what you have for Jock.
    As regards your grasp of Irish, I think, like your grasp of republicanism, it needs a little polishing.

    Cuir snas air!

  • Tomasmaguire

    Aidhneas – contempt? Well thats certainly not in O’Donaill’s dictionary, but fair enough that doesnt mean its not a word … My comments were as much on your structure as anything else and your attempt to admonish me in my mother tongue! As for the Jock fella? Big lad ****ed up and should take the consequences on the chin, He not I, by association brought the republicanism into disrepute, and has compounded the issue by his self-preservation. Incidently my republican credentials are A1 … what did you do during the war ……. daddy? finally would you care to elaborate publicilyon your jibes at ex-prisoners, because the word contempt in that context doesnt really seem to make sense or am I wasting my time in trying to make sense out of total nonsense !!

  • Tomasmaguire

    Just out of interest and in the name of further learning can you translate what you said in irish using your own words then all right thinking people?

    Here is what i get using your words;

    Perhaps, the same as with a lot of ex-prisoners, that your contempt isnt connected with politics nor justification but rather personal attacks?

    Doesnt really read right, what were you trying to say?

  • Hardy Handshake

    God aren’t some people who speak or pretend to speak Irish awful uppity and pretentious and very bad mannered ?

  • Frankie

    Jock seems to be a right mote in your eye ?

  • belfastgirl

    jock done no wrong he was stabbed by a scumbag his comrades went to his defence and the leadership have sent them out to the wolfs and yes jock was one of the ones threw out of the movement his crime was getting stabbed

  • barnshee

    some murdering scumbags kill supporter–family very upset-but will continue to support other murdering scumbags if the scumbags who killed their family member are brought before courts???
    Very very selective justice?

    VOTE SF for an Ireland of equals?

    Appears to me they got what they voted for