Demand for justice has changed Northern Ireland

An interesting opinion piece by Sunday Telegraph staffer Jenny McCartney (she’s the daughter of a prominent Unionist politician, and no relation of the dead man’s family), in which she predicts that the McCartney sisters are in for a rough ride on their return to Belfast. She believes “they will be subjected to the full force of Sinn Fein’s PR machine, which will attempt to smear them and their motivations”. She concludes by recalling another victim of apparently random IRA violence:

In 1998, an IRA gang murdered a 33-year-old Catholic man called Andrew Kearney. I remember meeting his mother Maureen, a life-long republican who had begun a spirited campaign against her son’s IRA killers. In the absence of any other redress, she asked Sinn Fein to pay for his funeral. Eventually, Gerry Adams visited her house and told her to leave the matter in his hands: he promised to return in three weeks, she said, after a trip to America. He never came back.

In August 1999, Mrs Kearney died: the priest at her funeral said it was of a broken heart. Sometimes justice arrives too late, or not at all. But the McCartneys have already changed Northern Ireland, simply by demanding it.