To coincide with the start of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ non-fundraising trip to the US, the New York Times editorial “The Bullies of Belfast”[free reg req.], I think, dispels absolutely the notion that the IRA did not cover-up for the murderers of Robert McCartney.
Opening paragraphs of the NYT editorial –
After 30 years in the paramilitary trenches, the Irish Republican Army is still capable of shocking thuggery, this time a wave of crimes culminating in a brutal murder outside a Belfast pub in January. That caused Sinn Fein, its political wing, to be disinvited from the White House celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and sent its leader, Gerry Adams, scrambling for cover.
This is the least of the I.R.A.’s just deserts for brazenly covering up the homicidal behavior of some ranking members in the beating and slashing of the murder victim, Robert McCartney, over a petty dispute. It dispatched a team to wipe the pub clean of evidence and terrorize some 70 witnesses into silence. But the victim’s sisters would not be silenced in their outcry for justice.
The editorial goes on to say –
The Bush administration has called on Sinn Fein to see to the disbanding of the I.R.A. That’s not likely anytime soon. But the I.R.A. needs to take some strong initial steps, starting with shedding its activities as a criminal enterprise. Its leaders should return to a more honorable agenda and stop dancing around the promise to begin formal disarmament.
The NY Times doesn’t go into detail on what that “more honorable agenda” included or when it was being followed.