SF candidate still to contact Police Ombudsman

Despite the lead paragraph, the main points to note in this Belfast Telegraph story, IMO, are the quotes from the Police Ombudsman and Catherine McCartney. The Police Ombudsman’s spokeman states, “No-one from our office has met her [Cora Groogan] or taken her statement. She has not contacted us as far as I am aware”. Catherine McCartney has also stated “Sinn Fein’s first response was that she[Cora Groogan] left the bar at 8.30pm then they came back with the statement that she left at 11pm and saw nothing”. Update – “mixed messages” indeed.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Much more of this and people may start to question the accuracy of her account.

    One thing puzzles me. Given that the provisionals now believe that the ombudsman should be responsible for the investigation of crime, to whom does one go with any complaints about her performance?

  • peteb

    Jimmy

    That doesn’t apply in this case. The Ombudsman has made it clear that the role of her office will be simply to take statements, if necessary, and pass them directly to the PSNI investigating team.. her office will not be investigating the crime.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    There was never any indication that she was to contact the Police Ombudsman’s office. It was stated that she made a statement to her solicitor who would then pass it on. It’s irrelevant then what the ‘spokespman’ has to say.

    Didn’t one of the Mc Cartney’s partners drive her home? Should be fairly easy to clear the time up.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    On the taxi…

    Sunday Times:

    Groogan’s presence only emerged when the taxi driver who took her home realised who she was and made a statement to the police. Catherine McCartney said: “The driver told me that she was agitated and said, ‘There was murder in there, bottles and glasses flying everywhere’. When he drove off she gave a big sigh of relief.

    Irish News:

    In an interview with a Sunday newspaper yesterday a taxi driver claimed to have picked up Ms Groogan from the bar after the fight.

    “She told me that (Magennis’s) had erupted and there were glasses and bottles flying everywhere,” he said.

    “She (Ms Groogan) was also made aware by a police officer that she was leaving the scene of a crime, but she ignored this and carried on.

    “She told me this before I dropped her off at a bar on the Ormeau Road and I am surprised that she said she witnessed nothing.

    “How can glasses and bottles flying inside a small bar be classed as a commotion?”

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Catherine McCartney said: “The driver told me that she was agitated and said, ‘There was murder in there, bottles and glasses flying everywhere’.

    Daily Ireland names the taxi driver as Ed Cooley, Catherine Mc Cartneys partner. Strange way to address your partner.

  • Dec

    Yet again the opinions of sources close to the McCartney family being passed off as fact.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Thanks Pat.

    The driver has reportedly said that he wasn’t aware of who Groogan was at the time. Perhaps this is because Sinn Fein told the McCartneys Ms Groogan had left the bar at 8.30pm and not 11pm, as per her solicitor’s statement.

    If Sinn Fein was lying to the family, it undermines its claims to be helping.

  • Jacko

    Sinn Fein are serial liars, simple as.
    Damage limitation is all that matters to them.

    As for the minor apparatchiks they task with colonising sites like this – they are only interested in muddying the waters, blackening the characters of those who irritate them, mantra-like repetition of banalities and don’t give a damn for truth or justice unless it can be used to their own advantage.

  • DerryTerry

    This line of inquiry is somewhat confusing. There is no suggestion that Ms Groogan was next or near the fatal stabbing.

    In fact, the only person who is likely to be able to identify the attackers is Mr Devine and i think it is reasonable to ask if this has been done? It should now be clear that the attackers themselves will not give themselves up so it will likely come down to Mr Devine giving evidence?

    Does anyone know if he has made a statement? Has he identified his attackers? If he has why are they not in jail facing lengthy sentences?

  • séanna boy

    Has Brendan Devine made a full and truthful statement of the events that night? If he has why have the PSNI not brought charges yet? ( Assuming that BD named names) Could it, would it be anything to do with the political situation and the PSNI are playing the long game? Any odds on charges being brought when a) there is no more politcal mikleage for the PSNI/ Est/ or b) after the expected elections in May? Strange that in relation to a stabbing in Turf LOdge yesterday the PSNI asked for witnesses either to contact the PSNI direct OR to contact Crimestoppers? Why have the PSNI nit done this in relation to the killing of Robert Mc Cartney? Curiosier and curiosier.

  • DerryTerry

    “She (Ms Groogan) was also made aware by a police officer that she was leaving the scene of a crime, but she ignored this and carried on.”

    If this statement is true what were/are the PSNI doing? I don’t know of any other circumstances in which someone leaving the scene of a crime do not even have their name taken for further inquiries, particularly if an officer informed her that she was doing so.

    Did the PSNI take her name? If they didn’t what the hell where they doing? If they did why haven’t they contacted her before now or what are they waiting for?

    The longer this case goes on the more questions that arise concerning the conduct of the PSNI and the entire investigation.

  • alex s

    “There is no suggestion that Ms Groogan was next or near the fatal stabbing.”

    Derry Terry, is it not a fact that Mr Devine had his throat cut in the bar before being helped outside by Mr McCartney, how big a bar is it?

  • alex s

    Posted on BREAKING NEWS

    Second SF candidate denies seeing McCartney brawl
    14/03/2005 – 17:06:50

    A second Sinn Féin election candidate was in the Belfast pub where IRA murder victim Robert McCartney was attacked, it emerged tonight.

    As Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams braced himself for a fierce US backlash over the murder, the party disclosed that Deirdre Hargey was still inside Magennis’s Bar when police first arrived.

    But she denied seeing the brawl leading to the horrific knife attack which left Mr McCartney, aged 33, dying on the street outside.

    Ms Hargey, aged 23, is a community development worker who is due to stand in May’s local government elections.

    Ms Hargey, who has given a statement to her lawyer, insisted: “I did not witness the fracas in the bar, or the incident outside the bar.”

    The hole just keeps getting deeper!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    One doesn’t know the importance of the line Catherine Mc Cartney was taking but why would she refer to her partner as if he was some sort of anonymous person?
    Are we now getting spin from the Mc Cartneys, passing of a family member as an independent anonymous witness to the behaviour of Groogan?
    Lies could be damaging all round.

  • Alan McDonald

    The last part of the UTV story about the second SF member in the bar reads:

    Nuala O`Loan, the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, has offered to take statements from those refusing to deal with the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

    Her staff, who expect to receive accounts from those in Magennis`s on the night Mr McCartney was battered and stabbed to death, were still waiting for the first to arrive tonight.

    Now I have a numerical question? Are the two in the bar (Groogan and Hargey) among the seven on Adams’ list (supposedly given to the Ombudsman but not yet received) or do they bring the Sinn Fein total to 9?

    Her staff, who expect to receive accounts from those in Magennis`s on the night Mr McCartney was battered and stabbed to death, were still waiting for the first to arrive tonight.

    Now I have a numerical question? Are the two in the bar (Groogan and Hargey) among the seven on Adams’ list (supposedly given to the Ombudsman but not yet received) or do they bring the Sinn Fein total to 9?

  • DerryTerry

    alex s,

    I don’t know how big the bar is but if Ms Groogan saw anything then she should make that information available. Likewise for Ms Hargey.

    However, and this is a big but, how many other people did the PSNI inform were leaving the scene of a crime? How many others had their names taken by the PSNI? How many others have been contacted by the PSNI for statements? Has Mr Devine made a statement and if not why not? If he has then why have people not been arrested and charged.

    Is there actually a PSNI investigation taking place or are they sitting back and letting this case continue? The McCartney family have asked people to help the investigation.

    I’m sure I’m not the only person starting to wonder if the PSNI are actually helping or hindering this investigation.

  • mnob

    Pat, Derry et al, stop spinning, avoiding and generally trying to dodge the issue.

    The facts as admitted by Miss Groogan, who plans to stand for SF in May, were that she was in the bar on the night, but only felt the need to tell anyone about it on Saturday night, six weeks after the event.

    Then the person she tells is her solicitor, not the police, not the police ombudsman.

    How can this be seen as helping the inquiry ?

  • ricardo

    Disappointing, but not surprising, that the truth has to be basically dragged out of these individuals.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    More to the point, why did SF tell Ms McCartney that Ms Groogan left the bar an hour and a half before she herself said she arrived?

    I’m not sure what Pat is reading into her decision not to name her partner as the taxi driver – perhaps she is concerned for his safety. It’s as plausible as any other explanation.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Gonzo,

    I was under the impression the truth was the point. If the Mc Cartneys believe Groogan is lying, then they should say so. I believe trying to pass off a family member as an independent anonymous witness is the wrong way to go.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “If the Mc Cartneys believe Groogan is lying, then they should say so.”

    But presumably in order to suggest the taxi driver is lying, a snide hint will suffice?

  • Alan McDonald

    DerryTerry has asked twice about Brendan Devine. Does anyone there know his current condition? I thought I saw something recently, but now all that I’ve found is a claim that he was involved in a security van robbery in February 2004.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    the Mc Cartneys believe Groogan is lying, then they should say so.

    Pat

    The McCartneys have stated publicly that they were told by SF that Ms Grogan left the bar at 8.30pm (Irish News). Ms Grogan disagrees with her party.

    Presumably Mr Cooley was able to contradict SF’s version, once he realised who his passenger was. Does it matter that it was Mr Cooley? It would be reasonable to assume that he might be concerned for his safety, so I don’t see his partner not naming him as a big problem.

    However, Ms Grogan later told PA that she was there from 10pm to 11pm yet saw nothing. SF has yet to contradict this version of times given, or Ms McCartney’s. You’d think SF would at least get their story straight.

    Perhaps a check of the taxi firm’s phone records would confirm whose version is correct, if we ever get to hear any evidence in court.

  • Jacko

    Oh what a tangled web they weave as they continue to deceive – Sinn Fein are serial liars.
    Now it’s the PSNI’s fault, according to the shoal of apparatchiks.
    Even “Lenny Murphy” Jock and “Butcher” Bart didn’t try that one on.

  • Alan McDonald

    On the Brendan Devine issue, see Mcguinness Issues Warning to Murdered Man’s Family on the news.scotsman.com site. It says:
    Brendan Devine, who survived the attack which killed his friend, has also allegedly made a taped statement to investigating officers.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Presumably Mr Cooley was able to contradict SF’s version, once he realised who his passenger was. Does it matter that it was Mr Cooley? It would be reasonable to assume that he might be concerned for his safety, so I don’t see his partner not naming him as a big problem.’

    But the Mc Cartney family (of which Cooley is a member) is asking other people to come forward, asking other people to give statements, asking other people to go to court, asking other people to give evidence. Yet they want to remain anonymous, surely hypocrtical?
    IMO the person was deliberately used in the third party to add credence to his version of events to add an illusion of independence to another claim by a family member.
    Apparently this whole episode is now about truth and clarity, surprising that some don’t practice what they preach.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “If the Mc Cartneys believe Groogan is lying, then they should say so.”

    “Apparently this whole episode is now about truth and clarity, surprising that some don’t practice what they preach.”

    Indeed

  • alex s

    Pat, I fail to see how the remarks attributed to Ms Grogan while in the taxi are evidence of what happened in the bar, the term hersay evidence comes to mind, they do however if true suggest she saw more than she is letting on.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘If true’ now there’s a thing.

  • aquifer

    The truth won’t be going away, y’know