McCartney family asks awkward question.

Liam Clarke in today’s Sunday Times discusses something that, if confirmed, considerably undermines the impact of Gerry Adams supposedly seismic call for Volunteers to leave the IRA and join Sinn Féin instead . According to the electoral commission, they have not been notified that one of the main suspects in the murder of Robert McCartney is no longer “treasurer of Sinn Fein in the South and East Belfast constituencies for electoral purposes”.

McCartney suspect was in Sinn Fein
Liam Clarke
“THE family of Robert McCartney has asked Sinn Fein whether one of the main suspects in the murder of their brother was a party member at the time of the killing.

The name James McCormick is registered with the Northern Ireland Electoral Commission as the treasurer of Sinn Fein in the South and East Belfast constituencies for electoral purposes.”

and :

“A prominent South Belfast republican called James McCormick has been named by the media as a suspect for McCartney’s murder, and is one of two men the IRA offered to shoot in a conversation with the McCartney sisters.

Questioned by The Sunday Times, Sinn Fein replied: “James McCormack (sic) is no longer a member of Sinn Fein. If you wish to interview McCormack you would therefore have to contact him directly.”

Asked if the McCormick named as a Sinn Fein official on the Electoral Commission website and the murder suspect was the same person, a party spokesman replied: “Yeah.”

He said the names on the Electoral Commission website was “a fairly old list” but refused to say when “McCormack” had left the party or to make Alex Maskey, the Sinn Fein candidate in South Belfast, available for interview.

An Electoral Commission spokesman said that McCormick first registered as the treasurer for Sinn Fein South and East Belfast Accounting unit in 2003. He gave an address of 53 Falls Road, the Sinn Fein office in west Belfast.

Last month, following the international outcry over the McCartney murder, Sinn Fein paid a fee to the Electoral Commission and informed it that the position was unchanged. They were given until April 1 to notify the office of any changes and did not do so.

By law, Sinn Fein must inform the commission of resignations among office-holders no more than 28 days after they take place.

An Electoral Commission spokesman said “It is the party’s responsibility to inform us of any change.

The commission will now write to Margaret Adams, the overall treasurer of Sinn Fein for electoral purposes in Northern Ireland, to ask if McCormick is still treasurer for the constituencies and, if not, when the change took place.”

Clarke goes on :

Catherine McCartney said: “Up until now they told us that it was only IRA members who were involved around the scene of the murder. Now, if this is true, it seems to me that there were more Sinn Fein party members than IRA members involved.

“The people suspected of murdering Robert all seem to be Sinn Fein members, so the party can’t get away with saying, ‘It was a few individuals, nothing to do with us’.

  • Brian

    Nobody denies that there are some Sinn féin members who also are members of Oglaigh na hEireann. Perhaps his story is true, perhaps not. But the reality is that SF have taken steps to remove those who were allegedly involved in the murder of Mccartney.

    It is also alleged in the article (but not printed here) that Martin spoke with the man in question and one other in a monastery in Belfast asking both of them to make a statement to a relevant body about their role (if any) in the murder. In the interim, let due process take it’s course here.

    Neither Clarke or any other journalist has the right to act as judge and jury and his article is merely speculative and yet again designed to undermine the noble cause of Irish republican. This also applies to the McCartney sisters who have politicized this issue much to the delight of the Uncle Toms in sdlp and the Orange parties.

  • Davros

    Freedom of the Press is an important part of democracy and one that Sinn Féin themselves use in articles carried in publications such as An Phoblacht.

  • Brian

    Freedom of the press is absolutely an integral component of a democratic society. But I dunno what that has to do with Clarke’s article. There is no democracy in occupied Ireland. The Irish people are denied the right to self determine their own future. That is an absolute prerequisite in any democratic society. Without it, there ain’t no democracy, as we see in the pathetic, ungovernable orange garden of Eden.

  • Roll

    Brian, in all fairness this man has been one of the main suspects in the killing since day one. If SF confirmed that he was the treasurer for the party in that area as recently as the start of the month, it puts the disgruntlement recently reported in the Andersonstown News of former councillor Sean Hayes and former candidate Deirdre Hargey into perspective.

    For they were forced to resign and leave the party because they were in the bar and witness to the killing, and their names made public so scapegoated. Here is a man alleged to have been a participant in the murder and he is still on SF’s electoral rolls as the money-man, 3 months after the murder and its fallout. Big problem for Sinn Fein.

    Exactly how does this prove your statement that SF have taken steps to remove those involved in the murder? What steps have been taken? Catherine McCartney is right to ask her questions and the public has the right to known the full answers.

    Leaving a murder suspect to handle election finances is not quite a step that inspires confidence.

  • Roll on

    Either way you look at this, it is not good for Sinn Fein. For they have either retained a main suspect in one of the most controversial murders of the peace process as a money-man for their election campaigns after they have publicly on numerous occasions claimed to support the family’s quest for justice and pledged to do all in their power to achieve justice, including as recently as this week when their party president on Hearts and Minds and TalkBack restated that position.

    Mr Adams claimed his party has done all it could. And yet it did not demote or remove and in fact confirmed McCormick’s significant position in the party.

    However, if they had indeed removed him from said position, it is not good for Sinn Fein either. For this means they are not giving a true accounting of who does what in the party to the Electoral Commission. Exactly who is handling the money for SF?

    Do they just put forth paper names because they carry no meaning in actual terms, hence why McCormick’s name could be confirmed at the start of the month, as it was meaningless? Who is handling the money for SF’s campaigns, if not those reported to the Electoral Commission?

    Time for SF to clean house, either get rid of the murder suspects as promised or tidy up the paperwork before it really becomes a problem.

  • Brian

    The key term here is “suspect” not “murderer”. Meanwhile, with regard to steps taken to address the issue, well as ya mention 7 members of SF were suspended. Furthermore, according to Clarke’s (speculative) article, the individual in question today was named by the Army as a suspect and in fact (again according to Clarke) the Army ‘offered’ to execute him.

    Now that offer was a daft exercise. However, I agree that Sean Hayes and others within the Republican family have every right to feel that this issue has not been addressed correctly. In my opinion Ms Hargey should be allowed to stand as a candidate. Sometimes I wonder what the hell is going on in the upper echelons of mainstream republicanism. But I reserve judgement until the case has been accorded due process.

    I would never take anything Clarke says as ‘gospel’ and operate on the assumption that Clarke’s article is designed to undermine the Republican growth in the forthcoming elections.

  • aquifer

    The Irish people all exercised their self determination as decisive votes for the Good Friday agreement, a more conclusive mandate that that obtained by Sinn Fein in 1919.

    Ireland has now both robber barons and a rentier political aristocracy, PIRA who are accountable to no-one but themselves, and Sinn Fein who are their local agents and apologists.

  • Rolling

    Yes, but as you note this man was known to the movement as one of the main suspects and the IRA had offered to shoot the man. Yet SF sees fit to retain him as their campaign treasurer, while removing Deirdre Hargery from standing as a candidate?

    There was nothing speculative about Clarke reporting on the Electoral Commission’s account, or his conversation with a SF spokesperson who confirmed the EC account that yes, McCormick is listed as treasurer and was confirmed as such at the start of the month. He did not write that he was thinking about ringing them and that he imagined they would say that. He rang them up and asked them a direct question and reported on their direct answer.

    Something is not right in SF’s house. It is not Clarke’s fault and has nothing to do with Clarke’s agenda or anyone outside of SF’s agenda, unless you are suggesting there are malicious forces at work in SF’s offices submitting the wrong names to the Electoral Commission during campaign season.

    Rather than wait for the proverbial to hit the fan is it not in SF’s interests to either mean what they say and follow it through with appropriate action or to stop lying with fingers crossed they won’t get caught out again?

  • Brian

    My question is: if Clarke can suggest that a man is guilty of murder and conveniently ignore the concept of due process, then why can I not speculate that Clarke is a British Agent?????? I believe that I have as much (if not more evidence to iomplicate Clarke with than he has on Mr. McCormick). What’s up with that?

    Just encouraging all and sundry to play the ball not the man. Your arguments are much more compelling than your accusations! (Mick)

  • Tomasmaguire

    I was down at the prayer vigil for Rab Mc Cartney last Sunday afternoon. I felt I personally wanted to go down and support the family as I feel they are becoming increasingly isolated and will inevitably become more so in the coming weeks and months ahead.

    Why? In my own opinion the Mc Cartney family are years ahead of their time in their persuit of justice for their Robert. The thrust + dynamic of their campaign is ideally suited to a normal society, conflict free with acountable structures of justice to which we could subscribe whole heartedly.

    All of which belies the real-politic of life in nationalist communities here and in particular in the Short Strand which has had to endure a practically invisable (shame on us) seige in this “post-ceasefire” era.

    The McCartney family know this is the perception of the Ruc/Psni locally yet in the absence of any alternative are forced to look to the state and perhaps some of the more nefarious elements of this society, including the media, for justice. Either that or submit to the personal horror of just giving up on their campaign.

    I believe their hearts are pure in all of this but just as their brother was the victim of savage, brutal injustice that night outside Maguinesses, they, as do each of us, suffer from an equally damning injustice … the putrid consequences of the continuing British presence in our country !!!

  • willis

    Liam Clarke’s article claims that a prominent SF Republican has been named in the media… Do any links to these public domain disclosures exist?

  • PatMcLarnon

    A simple task for the Mc Cartneys would be to contact Brendan Devine (the robber and knife wielder) who was with their brother when he was killed. Ask Devine to contact his co-accused in the knife attack from Dec 2003, after all, he is Mc Cormick’s brother. They could then establish the exact status of McCormick straight from the horses mouth.

  • Mick Hall

    Pat:

    Your post to this thread of 02 50pm is all but justifying the murder of Mr McCartney. All I can say is Mr McCormick is damned lucky the McCartney women did not take up the PIRA offer.

    Brian,

    Your argument is a very leaky vessel, for no matter how much you may dislike Liam Clarke, it does nothing to discredit his article as it has been confirmed by two independent sources, SF and the electoral body.

    This is one of the reasons the McCartney family feel SF is not playing square with them. They are told all those involved have been disciplined, then something like this pops out of the wood work.

    It could be McCormick’s continued role as a SF branch treasure is an oversight, whatever the truth is, it is clear the SF leadership need to appoint someone with real authority to oversee this disaster properly, for time and again it is coming back and biting the Party and more to the point distressing the family of the murdered man.

    It is time Provisional republicans understood the family are not the main enemies, the fools who murdered Robert McCartney are. A section of the leadership recognised this, hence the offer to top the men responsible, for with their demise the problem would have disappeared.

    On reading of the antics of these men and some of their families and friends since the murder, it never ceases to amaze me how closely arrogance and ignorance is combined in some humans.

    I’m sure when the family made their decision to let the law take its course, if we were in the killers shoes most of us would have thought we had won one of life’s lucky lottery tickets. Not these men it seems and one cannot help but wonder why.

  • Davros

    Looks to me as if Sinn Féin are behaving in very much the same way as the British establishment behaved after Bloody Sunday.

  • kitty

    “The McCartney family know this is the perception of the Ruc/Psni locally yet in the absence of any alternative are forced to look to the state and perhaps some of the more nefarious elements of this society, including the media, for justice. Either that or submit to the personal horror of just giving up on their campaign.

    I believe their hearts are pure in all of this but just as their brother was the victim of savage, brutal injustice that night outside Maguinesses, they, as do each of us, suffer from an equally damning injustice … the putrid consequences of the continuing British presence in our country !!! “

    Well said! The bigger picture here is that the ‘police force’ is unacceptable in our communities. That’s the bottome line! In a normal society with a normal police force- a situation such as this would have been solved long ago. The identity of the murderer is purportedly known, WHY HAS HE/THEY NOT BEEN ARRESTED?Have the PSNi been asked to explain this yet?

  • John O’Connell

    Kitty

    The McCartney family have no problem with the PSNI investigation, why should the rest of us?

    BTW, in a normal society we wouldn’t have people being asked or ordered to gut another human being.

  • Whatabout

    How normal does the society and police force have to be? As normal as that in the Republic of Ireland? Or in a proposed 32 county socialist republic? The bigotry exhibited by some in our society against one of the most closely examined police forces in the world is unbelievable.
    In a normal society the community supports their police, except the parts that have a political agenda or where criminals have the ****** scared out of them!

  • tony

    john

    I have noted that you continue to use the term
    ‘gut’ when refering to the murder of Mr McCartney.

    Perhaps you could use a less graphic term as i fear the family may be upset by such a term being used

    Mr McCartney died a terrible death

    He was not a fish,john

    Please have a little more understanding for the families feelings

  • kitty

    “How normal does the society and police force have to be? As normal as that in the Republic of Ireland? Or in a proposed 32 county socialist republic? The bigotry exhibited by some in our society against one of the most closely examined police forces in the world is unbelievable.
    In a normal society the community supports their police, except the parts that have a political agenda or where criminals have the ****** scared out of them!”

    I know how hard it is for some to understand the deep suspicion within the Nationalist communtiy of the PSNI/RUC. That may be because YOU were not their victims! Collusion did happen you know, and denying that will not make that reality go away. Beatings did happen and that can not be wished away. Harassment happened and that can not be dreamed away. These were/are agents of the state- state paid, state pensioned, state supported.
    It is very clear that the bigger issue in this awful debacle is the issue of the PSNI and their unacceptability to many communities within Northern Ireland. Again, if the identities of the murderer/s are known why have there been no arrests?

  • kitty

    “john

    I have noted that you continue to use the term
    ‘gut’ when refering to the murder of Mr McCartney.

    Perhaps you could use a less graphic term as i fear the family may be upset by such a term being used”

    Like the other people who are using the Mc Cartneys for their own cynical agenda, I do think John cares much about the victim or his family.

  • Tomasmaguire

    What about,

    the tactic of the state using a paramilitary police force to quell resistance, any resistance is well known, why they even write books about it or in this case America army field manuals …

    What we have isnt normal policing in a normal society, the RUC/PSNI are light years from anything ‘normal’ regardless of how examined they are !!!

    FMI 3-07.22, Counterinsurgency Operations US Army – Leathanworth

    STATE APPROACH TO INSURGENCY
    1-34. A successful counterinsurgency results in the neutralization by the state of the insurgency
    and its effort to form a counterstate. While many abortive insurgencies are defeated by
    military and police actions alone, if an insurgency has tapped into serious grievances and
    has mobilized a significant portion of the population, simply returning to the status quo may not be an option. Reform may be necessary, but reform is a matter for the state, using all of its human and material resources. Security forces are only one such resource. The response
    must be multifaceted and coordinated, yet states typically charge their security forces with
    “waging counterinsurgency.” This the security forces cannot do alone.
    1-35. The state first decides upon its goal, then, produces a plan to accomplish that end. All elements of national power are assigned their
    roles in carrying out the plan. The government establishes the legal framework and command
    and control (C2) mechanisms to enable the plan to be implemented.
    The legal framework normally includes a series of extraordinary measures that are
    associated with emergency situations, or even martial law. It will frequently expand
    military powers into areas delegated solely to the police in “normal times.”
    Historically, effective C2 architecture has involved setting up local coordinating
    bodies with representation from all key parties. This local body directs the counterinsurgency
    campaign in the AO concerned, though one individual will have the lead. Minimally, such a coordinating body includes appropriate representatives from the civil authority, the military, the police, the intelligence services, and (though not always) the civil population. The most effective use of coordinating bodies
    has given permanent-party individuals (for example, district officers) responsibility
    for counterinsurgency C2 in their AOs and control over civil or military assets
    sent into their AOs. Reinforced intelligence bodies, in particular, have been assigned as permanent party. Involvement of local officials and civilians can defeat the insurgents’ attempt to undermine the political system.
    1-36. HN military and police forces must be the most visible force to the people. Security
    forces sent into an area to engage in counterinsurgency perform as follows:
    Strategically, they serve as the shield for carrying out reform. It is imperative that
    HN military and police forces protect the populace and defend their own bases
    while simultaneously fighting an insurgency.
    Operationally, they systematically restore government control.
    Tactically, security forces eliminate insurgent leadership, cadre, and combatants,
    through death and capture, by co-opting individual members, or by forcing insurgents
    to leave the area. This is analogous to separating the fish from the sea. The
    local populations (that also provide the insurgent mass base) are then secure and
    able to engage in normal activities. The forces also assist with civic action projects.
    These actions convey to the people a sense of progress and concern by the government.
    1-37. The counterinsurgency plan analyzes the basis of the insurgency in order to determine
    its form, centers of gravity, and insurgent vulnerabilities. These dictate the most effective
    type force to employ (either police, militia, and military; or primarily military and police).
    The counterinsurgency plan details the scheme to reclaim what has been lost and establish
    priority of effort and timelines. Concurrently, it outlines how the government intends to secure
    the critical infrastructure of the state and the government’s centers of power.
    1-38. Counterinsurgency operations must balance elimination of grievances (that is, reform,
    to include elimination of human rights abuses) and security force action that eliminates the
    insurgents. The security forces provide the populace the protection necessary for the restoration of government presence, basic services, and control.
    1-10
    THE MANUAL GOES ON TO READ ….

    ORGANIZING FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT
    3-21. A successful counterinsurgency depends ultimately and initially on a legitimate and effective Home Nation justice program integrating law enforcement, the judiciary, and a penal system.
    The existing justice program may be limited by capability (leadership and training), resources,
    or corruption, and require direct or indirect efforts to support or even reestablish police
    services, courts, and prisons. Such efforts must be coordinated with the country team
    and closely synchronized with other civil-military actions. The responsibility for these efforts may fall initially on US military assets during the initial stages of an operation or when the security situation is untenable for civilian agencies and contract advisors. The division staff Counterinsurgency Operations
    judge advocate and provost marshal may require additional technical support from judge advocate
    and military police assets (for example, administrative and criminal law experts,
    criminal investigators, and corrections specialists) to support local-, regional-, or nationallevel justice programs, while setting the conditions for transfer of support to other US governmental or international agencies.
    3-22. Support to law enforcement may be limited to coordinated actions at local levels between
    US military police and the HN police (for example, joint patrols, co-location of military
    and HN police at police stations) or require more comprehensive support to national and regional police headquarters and technical departments. Other support may include support
    of Administrative divisions, which may include the headquarters, personnel, and finance
    departments.
    Police (training) academy.
    Investigative division, to include a criminal laboratory facility.
    Traffic division, to include highway patrol and traffic accident investigations.
    Specialized police that may include special reaction teams, personnel security, and
    customs and immigration police.

    Le meas
    Tomas

  • Tomasmaguire

    neglected to add this wee bit of the field manual … isnt the internet a wonderful beautiful thing? 🙂

    OCTOBER 2004
    EXPIRES OCTOBER 2006
    HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
    Distribution Restriction: Distribution authorized to the DOD and DOD contractors only to maintain operations security. This determination was made on 1 April 2004. Other requests for this document must be referred to Commander, US Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, ATTN: ATZL-CD (FMI 3-07.22), 1 Reynolds Avenue (Building 111), Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-1352.
    Destruction Notice: Destroy by any method that will prevent disclosure of contents or reconstruction of the document.

    le meas
    Tomas

  • aquifer

    While SFPIRA are still in the business of forming a “counterstate” funded by criminality and maintained by threats of violence, no police force will be tolerable by them, no matter how well run.

  • spirit-level

    Kitty,
    Whilst I agree with the tone of the statements you make as regards the PSNI, you singularly fail to admit or recognise the flip side of the coin; which is that the IRA have the nationalist community gripped by fear and terror.
    Why, spectacularly, do NONE of your posts EVER admit to this REALITY?
    As long as you and your ilk ( of which I am a supporter by the way ) refuse to condemn or crititize your leaders, and your community structures, you’ll never be free!
    Now what you do want? To continually throw muck at the PSNI and blame them for everything, or look more critically at the machinations on your own side. ie SF cover-ups and prevarications on particularly this subjuct; McCartney murder.
    Blinded by resentment methinks.

  • Brian

    My commetns pertianing to Liam Clarke were removed, presumably because the moderator deemed them inflammatory or at least may open the door to litigation. However, McLarnon is free to post comments referring to Irish Republican Jock Davidson as a “knife wielder and robber”. What’s up with this? Why is there one rule for Clarke the anti-republican and alleged MI5 agent and another rule for Irish Republicans???????

  • kitty

    “Kitty,
    Whilst I agree with the tone of the statements you make as regards the PSNI, you singularly fail to admit or recognise the flip side of the coin; which is that the IRA have the nationalist community gripped by fear and terror.”

    I can’t admit that because I don’t find that to be true. I come from a staunch Republican area, and we are held in noones grip these days at all. There is no fear or terror- the source of that has been withdrawn, so to speak.

    Why, spectacularly, do NONE of your posts EVER admit to this REALITY?”

    Because this is not the reality at all. Reality occurs in your everyday life, not in someone’s head!

    “As long as you and your ilk ( of which I am a supporter by the way ) refuse to condemn or crititize your leaders, and your community structures, you’ll never be free!”

    I take it you have never been to a Sinn fein meeting when you think the above!

    “Now what you do want? To continually throw muck at the PSNI and blame them for everything, or look more critically at the machinations on your own side. ie SF cover-ups and prevarications on particularly this subjuct; McCartney murder.
    Blinded by resentment methinks.”

    No resentment at all on my part, why would there be? The Republican community has advanced beyond recognition in the past 10 years, with gains in all aspects of our lives. Why would anyone resent that? I don’t think SF are covering anything up quite frankly. But maybe you can pinpoint exactly, without the fluff, exactly what they are covering up and their responsibility for a bar brawl among thugs?

  • Davros

    But maybe you can pinpoint exactly, without the fluff, exactly what they are covering up and their responsibility for a bar brawl among thugs?

    The McCartney sisters can speak for themselves :

    Robert McCartney’s family appeal to Sinn Fein

    McCartney Family • 24 April 2005

    In light of recent comments by Gerry Adams that he will do all he can to help the family and recent newspaper reports that another main suspect in Robert’s murder is still apparently, a Sinn Fein member the family ask Gerry Adam’s to address the following immediately.

    Sinn Fein’s response, in the interest of accountability and transparency, should be a public one:

    1.
    Clarify why it took Sinn Fein two weeks to approach the family after Robert’s murder, given that it was common knowledge that some of its members were involved?
    2.
    When did Alex Maskey and Joe O’Donnell become aware of the circumstances surrounding Robert’s murder?
    3.
    What led to both men’s immediate assessment that Robert’s murder was part of a growing ‘knife culture’?
    4.
    When did Sinn Fein become aware that Cora Groogan had been present in Magennis’, along with other party candidates, on the 30th January?
    5.
    What explanation did they give the party for not coming forward to the police, ombudsman or the party?
    6.
    When did the party launch its internal investigation?
    7.
    What is its purpose?
    8.
    If the party is conducting its own internal investigation will they make the outcome public?
    9.
    What is the timescale likely to be?
    10.
    Why did no Sinn Fein members go forward voluntarily and immediately to the police or ombudsman?
    11.
    How many members of Sinn Fein were in the bar on the night Robert was murdered?
    12.
    How many have been suspended?
    13.
    On what grounds is the suspension?
    14.
    When were they suspended?
    15.
    Who has resigned?
    16.
    Why have they resigned?
    17.
    Is the party aware that statements passed to Nuala O’Loan from Sinn Fein members have not been signed?
    18.
    How many Sinn Fein party members in the bar that night were or still are election workers for Alex Maskey?

  • Mick

    Brian, the discretion is entirely ours. Please address your comments to matters of substance. I doubt whether your remarks were libellous, but they were more a case of serially playing the man.

    NB: You are profoundly misquoting Pat.

  • Brian

    You are incorrect lucifer. The creation of an All-Ireland police service with a strong emphasis on community policing and the right of ex IRA POWs to join the force would be an acceptable alternative to the current situation, where we have Orangemen patrolling Republican areas of West Belfast and other Irish communities. The current situation is in all essence a situation where one community partols another. The current ‘police force’ is in reality a Unionist militia masquarading as a police service. It is unacceptable, intolerable and will remain so until major changes are implemented.

  • spirit-level

    Kitty,
    “There is no fear or terror-”
    If that’s the case all the witnesses would come forward,and make statements as in a “normal” society. Remember the bar was “forensically cleansed”.. there is clearly an enormous amount of fear of later IRA reprisals.
    Why can’t you admit that?
    Then we might have a serious discussion.

    Re: Question of SF cover-up I refer you to Dr.Davros the eminent sleuth-hound. Now that you’re on speaking terms !

  • spirit-level

    Brian I absolutely agree with you, and have been saying that for ages.That is of course the flip side of the coin to IRA control of nationalist areas. Which “is unacceptable, intolerable and will remain so until major changes are implemented.” to use your words.
    Both sides need urgent adressing!

  • Impartial

    I can’t understand why Brendan Devine doesn’t feature more in clarifying further the actual events in Maguinnesses.

    Did I miss something or is it just plain obvious ?

  • Brian

    Mick, if the “man” persists in spewing anti-Republican propoganda then why not question his motives. If this is “playing the man” so be it. But your comment is analogous to saying that one ought not condemn Gerry Adams (mar shampla) for voicing the policies of Sinn Féin. Or one ought not question the motives of journalists who have a track record of blasting some political parties whilst supporting others. I would argue that Clarke, Eoghan Harris, Dudley Edwards et al should be open to criticism and investigation because of their anti-Republican columns. But of course, as you say, what is and is not posted is entirely at your disgression.

  • Brian

    Fair comment spirit level. But I am almost certain that the IRA will disappear from the scene once a genuine police service is created. So really it is up to the Brits to create this service. Once that is done, everything else will fall into place. Obviously, if SF join the police board, then the IRA will become redundant. But in the interim, the IRA is a necessary evil, given the absolute lack of a police service in Irish communities in the occupied territory.

  • Answer the questions please

    Brian what does Clarke have to do with who SF appoints as their treasurers, apart from reporting about it in this instance? You have yet to address the substance of the topic once.

    If SF are doing all they can to help the family then why have they retained one of the main suspects not just as a member but a member in a senior position in charge of campaign finances confirmed at the start of this month, 3 months after the murder was committed and all the pledges from SF were made, the IRA offer to kill the murderers, the suspensions of SF members who were witnesses to the murder? How does the murder suspect get special status in the party?

    This lends credence to the reports from the sisters that the main suspects in the murder are, contrary to claims of expelling, very close to SF. Worse for SF it appears now that it was not only IRA members who murdered Robert McCartney (in front of SF party members and candidates) but it was also senior SF members who participated in the murder itself.

    Care to address any of those points without shooting the messenger, who has nothing whatsoever to do with them?

    Also if McCormick is not the treasurer as reported to the Electoral Commission in April can you explain why SF is supplying incorrect information to the Electoral Commission and is this a regular occurence with the party, do they often report names of people as holding positions they do not in fact hold? If McCormick is not or was not from 2003 until the start of this month the treasurer, then who was/is?

  • Brian

    You miss the point completely. The murder was committed by individual(s) not the IRA or Sinn Féin. If there was a genuine police service in occupied Ireland, then I am certain that those responsible would be brought to book. Meanwhile, SF have done all that is necessary (and more) to address the issue. It is not for the party to override due process and ‘convict’ people of the murder. That is the role of the judiciary. SF is a political party, not a police service or judicial system. The concept of innocent until proven guilty still prevails as far as I know. It’s easy to bandy about names and accuse people of this horrendous crime. But where’s the beef?? Why should I or anybody else believe the words of the alleged MI5 employee (Clarke)? If Mr. McCormick has a case to answer then it is not for you, me or Clarke to judge him. You use terms like “lend credence to reports”, whose reports? You refer to an individual as a “murder suspect”, according to who? Those who you refer to have an agenda and their words cannot be taken at face value. It’s absurd that a man can be tried and found guilty on a website or by a journalist who is a rabid anti-Republican.

  • Davros

    You miss the point completely. The murder was committed by individual(s) not the IRA or Sinn Féin.

    We are discussing what appears to be a cover-up. Have you read the list of questions addressed to Gerry Adams ?

  • Still waiting

    I am afraid I am not the person missing the point in this instance. One of the individuals who is alleged to have committed the murder is holding a financial position in Sinn Fein as reported by the party to the Electoral Commission.

    You have the example where a former councillor for the party (Hayes) and a proposed candidate (Hargey) were suspended and the candidacy scrapped, yet the only allegation against these two party members in particular has been that they were possible witnesses to the crime.

    In McCormick’s case he has been alleged to be a participant in the murder itself, yet he apparently has not only been suspended from the party, he has retained a financial position within the local party structure.

    Did SF investigate and find Hargey and Hayes more guilty as witnesses than McCormick as murder suspect? Is that what accounts for the discrepancy in treatment?

    If this is all a mix-up, and McCormick was indeed suspended from the party and his position in it, then how did his name get confirmed to the Electoral Commission and who is actually doing the job attributed to him?

    These questions arise because of the pledges SF has publicly made to help the family, and the apparent contradictatory nature of their actions. It would help if SF were more transparent in their actions regarding this issue, instead of fobbing off legitimate questions of public interest (murder suspects as campaign financemen) with cries of MI5 agents or anti-republican agendas or other nonsense that fails to address the issue at hand.

  • SW

    yet he apparently has not only been suspended from the party, he has retained a financial position within the local party structure.

    Should read has not only NOT been suspended.

  • spirit-level

    “Still waiting” or “answer the question please”??
    please could you resist the temptation to keep handle-changing, you’ve made you’re points and its a very interesting debate with Brian you’re having.

  • spirit-level

    Brian
    “The creation of an All-Ireland police service”
    I think this should be imposed by London over the heads of the unionists, because its clearly a clever way to out-maneouvre the IRA; methinks unionists wouldn’t be able to stomach that, which reveals clearly their hypocracy on policing.

  • PatMcLarnon

    Brian,

    Hole,

    digging,

    Stop!

  • jim

    look i am getting sick to death of this carry on lets call a spade a spade anyone in belfast under 35 knows of the people involved in the fight in megennis’s bar.One simple question to the mc cartneys “why not ask brendan??” I believe you set out in all honesty and with integrity to find out what happened to your brother.
    I believe the sisters were manipulated for party political ends.Can anyone out there confirm that alisdair mc donnel financed the american trip i dont know this for certain as i was in the states at the time but have heard of a report in daily ireland stating this.
    Also you have to be daft not to ask is it normal in a murder investigation (and make no mistake it was murder)for police to tell witnesses they are too busy to take statements and to call in another time…political policing???

  • JD

    If true, it does seem very odd that a person who is alleged to have been so close to the crime would be permited to stay at his SF post when others who were merely witnesses were suspended and had their candidacies terminated by SF.

    I find the SF actions hard to fathom and unfair to the witnesses.

  • Cop

    Can we nail this lie on the head once and for all please? The claim that the PSNI told a leading suspect to go away because they were too busy to take his statement is rubbish. This claim is based on a recent incident when a leading suspect’s brief phoned the station and said the client was ready to give a statement. Being a leading suspect, the chief investigators wanted to be present at the interview so the solicitor was told that this would take up to 48 hours to arrange.
    THIS IS STANDARD PRACTICE.
    What those using this as a pretence for claims of ‘political policing’ also fail to mention is that during the interview the suspect – like all the senior shinners interviewed – said not one word.
    Anyone swallowing this claim that the PSNI are stalling the investigation is either being deliberately or obtuse or is a complete idiot. Personally, considering that we’re talking about a murder here folks, you’d be the better man if you were merely an idiot.

  • Cop

    Can we nail this lie on the head once and for all please? The claim that the PSNI told a leading suspect to go away because they were too busy to take his statement is rubbish. This claim is based on a recent incident when a leading suspect’s brief phoned the station and said the client was ready to give a statement. Being a leading suspect, the chief investigators wanted to be present at the interview so the solicitor was told that this would take up to 48 hours to arrange.
    THIS IS STANDARD PRACTICE.
    What those using this as a pretence for claims of ‘political policing’ also fail to mention is that during the interview the suspect – like all the senior shinners interviewed – said not one word.
    Anyone swallowing this claim that the PSNI are stalling the investigation is either being deliberately obtuse or is a complete idiot. Personally, considering that we’re talking about a murder here folks, you’d be the better man if you were merely an idiot.

  • Cop

    Sorry – just one short there of filling you in in triplicate.

  • jim c

    cop

    Brendan Devine has given a full statement to the PSNI regarding the attack on both himself and Robert Mc Cartney in which he names those involved in the attack

    I don’t have any insight into the legal or policing practices involved in investigating such an attack,but i would presume that an eye witness account would be enough to at least bring some charges against those involved

  • spirit-level

    Jim
    This ain’t going away till the perpetrators are behind bars. Get used to it

  • jim c

    sp

    That was a very detailed response to my last post.

    Grow up.

    cop seems to have some insight into procedural matters regarding an investigation of this type and i’m curious to know if he could shed any light on the eye-witness side of the investigation or whether this is not enough to press charges against those responsible for the murder.

  • Comrade Stalin

    jim c, it would be totally wrong for the cops to immediately arrest and press charges on the basis of a single eyewitness statement. It was wrong when they did it to the supergrasses, it would still be wrong if they did it today.

    It is in nobody’s interest for the police to do a rush job on this investigation. As “cop” says Sinn Fein are merely trying to use the propaganda opportunity to it’s fullest, exploiting the ignorance of policing and the general cynicism of the service in their own constituency for their own ends. Personally I think it’s laughable to hear Sinn Fein complaining when the police won’t make arrests quickly enough to begin with, and worse considering these statements are despite their accusing the police of harrassment when they arrested several republicans immediately after the murder had taken place.

  • jim c

    cs

    So you think that Devine’s evidence alone is not enough to convict

  • Comrade Stalin

    Any comment including mine on Devine’s evidence is pure speculation. Though I might ask, what is your source concerning the content of his statement ? (not a challenge – I’d just like to read it)

    FWIW I’d not be at all happy about the safety any conviction based on a single eyewitness account, especially one with Devine’s “history”. Even if a conviction were achieved it would almost certainly be overturned on appeal.

  • jim c

    cs

    I don’t have a link to the article but i’m
    sure it was an Irish News report which said he had made a full statement which included names

    Sorry i can’t be more specific