MEPs overwhelming pass resolution on McCartney murder

MEPs today passed a resolution to provide financial support if a civil case is pursued by the family of Robert McCartney – using an existing fund for victims of terrorism. In the resolution “MEPs condemn violence and criminality by the self-styled ‘Irish Republican Army’ (IRA) in Northern Ireland, in particular the murder of Robert McCartney” and “calls on the leadership of Sinn Féin to insist that those responsible for the murder and witnesses to the murder cooperate directly with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and be free from the threat of reprisals from the IRA”.. The motion was passed by 555 votes in favour and 4 against, 48 abstained. At the minute it’s not completely clear whether, as the BBC reports, the 2 SF MEPs voted against, or merely abstained. Update according to the official record both SF MEPs abstained (PDF file page28) Thanks Zorglub. Another Update The BBC have corrected their report. Yet another Update The BBC just reported live from Strasbourg and stated that the 2 SF MEPs voted against financial support being given for any future civil case and abstained from voting on other sections of the resolution.. Hmm. Final Update According to the offical record. 3 votes were taken. ‘Par. 1’, ‘Par. 3’ (I’d suggest that refers to Paragraphs 1 and 3) and ‘Resolution’. Both SF MEPs voted against Par. 1 and Par. 3.. and abstained in the final vote. Doh! Update see belowText of resolution available here

Press release from European Parliament today –

Motion for a resolution (to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission) on violence and criminality by the self-styled “Irish Republican Army” (IRA) in Northern Ireland, in particular the murder of Robert McCartney

Doc. B6-0281/2005
Debate : 09.05.2005
Vote : 10.05.2005

In adopting a joint resolution on the murder of Robert McCARTNEY by 555 votes in favour to 4 against, and 48 abstentions, the European Parliament proposes that, if the Police Service of Northern Ireland is unable to bring a prosecution in relation to the murder of Robert McCartney, the European Union grant a financial contribution, in conformity with the Financial Regulation, toward the cost of legal fees incurred by the McCartney family in their quest for justice by way of civil proceedings.

MEPs call on the Council and the Commission to provide all appropriate assistance to law enforcement authorities in Northern Ireland in order to ensure that the murderers of Robert McCartney are brought to justice. The House asks, in this connection, that the Commission make such a contribution from the budget line in the general budget of the EU intended for aid for the victims of terrorism.

MEPs condemn violence and criminality by the self-styled ‘Irish Republican Army’ (IRA) in Northern Ireland, in particular the murder of Robert McCartney. Parliament stresses in the strongest possible terms that the sisters and partner of Robert McCartney deserve the fullest support in their pursuit of justice. Parliament calls on the leadership of Sinn Féin to insist that those responsible for the murder and witnesses to the murder cooperate directly with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and be free from the threat of reprisals from the IRA. Finally, MEPs deplore the insidious whispering campaign aimed at intimidating and discrediting the sisters and fiancée of Robert McCartney in their fight for justice.

Doh! Update

‘Par 1’ and ‘Par 3’ would appear to refer to the relevant parts of the resolution.

1. Condemns violence and criminality by the self-styled “Irish Republican Army” (IRA) in Northern Ireland, in particular the murder of Robert McCartney;

3. Calls on the leadership of Sinn Féin to insist that those responsible for the murder and witnesses to the murder cooperate directly with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and be free from the threat of reprisals from the IRA;

The 2 SF MEPs voted against those parts of the resolution.. and then abstained in the final vote on the resolution.