O’Dowd: criminals have no place in Republican communities…

Asked by Seamus McKee if his party would back Catherine McCartney’s call for his party to help find her brother’s killer, John O’Dowd gave an unequivocal yes, saying further that criminals ‘had no place in Republican communities’. However, considering an internal IRA enquiry was convinced it knew enough to offer to have two individuals it held responsible shot, the question is not likely to go away any time soon, if the extraordinary communal silence surrounding his murder continues.

  • Briso

    >if the extraordinary communal silence surrounding his murder continues.

    What exactly do you mean by that Mick? Those who were witnesses are saying nothing or something more, something broader?

  • Mick Fealty

    As broad as you want to paint it Briso. No one is saying anything. Understandable up to now, certainly, yes.

    But two things are no longer in place. Any real or latent threat from the IRA. And no real or potential political sanction from Sinn Fein.

    In theory at least, that should open up the kinds of possibilities that Ms McCartney is hoping for.

  • Briso

    So the dogs in the street aren’t passing on what they learnt third hand? What are you precisely saying here? There were witnesses there, some of whom gave statements, others didn’t in order to cover up a murder. What else is there to say?

  • Nevin

    Understandable for some time to come IMO, Mick. Any actions by the ‘bone-breakers’ would, of course, not be sanctioned by the management.

  • Nevin

    Brisco, no actions carried out on behalf of the ‘legitimate’ government of the island of Ireland will be labelled criminal.

  • Briso

    Brisco, no actions carried out on behalf of the ‘legitimate’ government of the island of Ireland will be labelled criminal.

    Posted by Nevin on Jan 31, 2007 @ 09:05 AM

    I’ve no idea what your talking about. And it’s Briso.

  • Nevin

    Briso, Michael McDowell can explain it all better than I can:

    http://www.justice.ie/80256E01003A02CF/vWeb/pcJUSQ68LQ9R-en

    AFAIK, the ‘legitimate’ government, the PIRA Army Council, has yet to be disbanded.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Briso,

    The answer to your question is in the original post. Two states obtain: inside the IRA, which seems convinced it knows the facts of the case; and the virtual silence beyond that organisation.

  • kadenza

    A small POO I think the IRA said they were prepared to shoot some people, not offered to shoot. Don’t know how much difference it makes but there you go

  • TB

    From the IRA statement at the time:

    “The IRA representatives detailed the outcome of the internal disciplinary proceedings thus far, and stated in clear terms that the IRA was prepared to shoot the people directly involved in the killing of Robert McCartney.”

    It’s abundantly clear that the IRA had indeed offered to shoot those people. In fact, the only reason they were not shot is because the McCartneys did not want it.

  • TB

    Also from the IRA statement:

    “Four men were involved in the attacks in Market Street on the evening of 30 January. A fifth person was at the scene. He took no part in the attacks and was responsible for moving to safety one of the two people accompanying Robert McCartney and Brendan Devine.

    One man was responsible for providing the knife that was used in the stabbing of Robert McCartney and Brendan Devine in Market Street. He got the knife from the kitchen of Magennis’s Bar.

    Another man stabbed Robert McCartney and Brendan Devine.

    A third man kicked and beat Robert McCartney after he had been stabbed in Market Street.

    A fourth man hit a friend of Robert McCartney and Brendan Devine across the face with a steel bar in Market Street.

    The man who provided the knife also retrieved it from the scene and destroyed it. The same man also took the CCTV tape from the bar, after threatening a member of staff and later destroyed it. He also burned clothes after the attack.

    Reports in the media have alleged that up to 12 IRA Volunteers were involved in the events in Market Street. Our investigation found that this is not so. Of the four people directly involved in the attacks in Market Street, two were IRA Volunteers. The other two were not.

    The IRA knows the identity of all these men.”

    Very detailed – surely someone responsible for writing that statement or compiling the allegations contained in it could help the police investigation.

  • Ingram

    TB,

    It is well known who compiles IRA statements? and like the IMC said yesterday, he has responsibilties to act in a leadership role.

    Regards

    Ingram

  • Henry94

    The IRA is an illegal organisation. It’s claims, statements and investigations have no standing in British law. Any allegations it makes against individuals are legally worthless and any witness statements made at the behest of the IRA would have to be treated with extreme scepticism by any court.

    Justice for the McCartney family will have to come from the police investigation and like all such investigations it will have to rely on the willingness of individuals to make sttements without duress.

  • mushy

    As a republican i find dunce o dowd’s statement hilarious given the fact that his party is full of criminals and mi5 agents, they have even criminalised their own past by endorsing a british police force and the diplock courts. IDIOT!!!!

  • overhere

    what ever happened to the friend, was he not questioned? Surely he was there and would be able to give a description of the attackers if not know then personally.

    It is strange in all of this very little is said about the individual and his involvement. Even in the sisters announcements and TV interviews I have never heard this person mentioned of give an interview

  • overhere on Jan 31, 2007 @ 02:00 PM wrote “what ever happened to the friend, was he not questioned? Surely he was there and would be able to give a description of the attackers if not know then personally.
    It is strange in all of this very little is said about the individual and his involvement. Even in the sisters announcements and TV interviews I have never heard this person mentioned of give an interview “

    I believe he’s a career criminal and possibly in prison. The media couldn’t generate sufficient sympathy from him in comparison to the grieving sisters and so he doesn’t feature… thus leaving Robert McCartney the only career criminal feted by media and politicians (even Unionist law n order politico ones) from Belfast, Dublin and London thro to Wash DC…strange that, n’est pas?

    At the same time RoI’s M. McDowell, the world’s greatest legal and judicial politico, is allowing the Dublin criminals blast away at each other with seemingly no end as long as it stays in the working class areas.

  • An T’

    “A fifth person was at the scene.”

    Q1)Who IS this 5th individual?

    Q2) Surely there was more than one other person present in the bar that night that didn’t physically take part?

    Q3)Are the Provos trying to protect someone?

  • Crataegus

    It seems clear to me that there are to parallel realities in NI. There is the political world where platitudes and denials abound. Meanwhile in the real world people are murdered, intimidated and robbed by criminals who the state cannot touch, who political parties turn a blind eye to because they are their sort of thug. In the silly political world we worry about the abstract and hypothetical and do little about the alleviating the actual. What is a few more beatings, a few more causalities in the political war for some greater good. We have all become disposable, acceptable causalities, meaningless numbers in in their sick game.

    The hypocrisy that abounds in political circles is an utter disgrace. It is rotten to the core. Politicians have a responsibility to clean up their act and bring their reality closer to actuality. We need deeds and actions not platitudes, resolutions and excuses for the inexcusable.

    We want normality. Is that too much to ask?

  • so, Sinn Fein Frog march suspects in the McCartney murder down to the police station, hold them down while the PSNI beat the shit out of them, force a signed confession, and this is and acid test to see if Sinn Fein are fit for govt?

    The right to silence does not apply to Republicans.

    thought political policing was a thing of the past.

    Still waiting for Lord Lucan to arrive at Stormont riding Shergar.

  • American Friend

    I love Slugger — and the Internet. I read “Lord Lucan to arrive at Stormont riding Shergar” and I say to myself, “what’s that all about?”

    Quick to Google and Wikipedia. First, the amazing Shergar story; then, Lord Lucan. What’s more natural that putting the Lord on the horse and riding him right up to Stormont?

    From link to link and I find myself listening to Christy Moore singing “Lisdoonvarna” on YouTube. He’s got the Lord on the horse at the music festival.

    I was already smiling; now I’m grinning. My grandmother was born in Lisdoonvarna around 1885.

    Best wishes to all Sluggerites.

  • Henry94

    American Friend

    Your story brought a smile to my face.

  • Crataegus

    Art Hostage.

    The right to silence does not apply to Republicans.

    Any person charged has the right to remain silent but there is a big difference between that and a deliberate attempt to subvert the course of justice. This applies equally to Republicans, Loyalists, Special Branch Officers and those living and working in No. 10. We need an end to this nonsense.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Crataegus: “Any person charged has the right to remain silent but there is a big difference between that and a deliberate attempt to subvert the course of justice.”

    What legal obligation to report a crime exists in Northern Ireland? Not moral or ethical, but what *LEGAL* obligation exists to aid the police?

    Crataegus: “This applies equally to Republicans, Loyalists, Special Branch Officers and those living and working in No. 10. We need an end to this nonsense. ”

    If that was an honestly held belief by and large, we wouldn’t be having this discussion because it wouldn’t be relevant.

  • Jimmy

    This is a Dilemna for me, on the one hand I would go to the police and give information if I had it, if it was an Innocent victim.
    But the Robert McCartney murder has ‘issues’there is the issue of Drug dealing, thugery and culpability for circumstances that led to the murder.
    on these basis I think a lot of people would not give information to the police, the same way I wouldnt give information if I knew who killed a child molestor or Drug dealer. This is a dilemna for the Republican community also,. As for convictions I think the McCartney family shoud forget about it. It didnt happen for thousands of others, its not going to happen for them.

  • June 76

    Mick writes, “…But two things are no longer in place. Any real or latent threat from the IRA. And no real or potential political sanction from Sinn Fein….”

    So presumably the only remaining obstacle to full cooperation with the police for witnesses would be a continuing distrust of the police themselves. Is this a case of, “We’ve jumped, Mr Orde, it’s over to you!”??

  • Any person charged has the right to remain silent

    Not true

    The right to silence has been diminished with the introduction of S34 and S36 adverse infrences. It also only relates to before you have been charged as that is when the police will interview you.

    Any statement that a person gave under duress in some of the senarios set out above would be ruled inadmissable under s78 of PACE.

    If the rule of law does indeed apply then people should learn some of the fundemental rules of evidence.

    You can not be forced to co-operate with the authorities.

  • rose

    Perhaps if the McCartney sisters released a statement condemning all criminality, including bank robbery, stabbing doormen & attempted murder, thier case for justice might seem less selective.

    I think the whole family feud surrounding the events of Mr McCartney’s murder are worth investigating.

  • BeardyBoy

    lets say I saw it all. But I am not saying anything.

    Now the provies know I saw it.

    GA has said it is okay for me to talk. But I do not want to talk. Nothing to do with me mate.

    do the provies march me to the cops?
    sorry they cant I do not want to go and therefore it is possibly illegal.

    Do they give my name to the cops and I say to them when they come around – “sorry copper I was tying my shoes and saw nuthin'”

    Do they knock my shit in to force me – sorry they cant – it is against the law.

    In short the only thing that can be done is to say what Adams has said. if people do not want to talk they won’t.

    Whatever you feel about the morality of the witnesses talking is another thing entirely.

    The provies are now powerless – they have to uphold the law now you see

  • Crataegus

    I have sat and read this and other related threads. What moral depravity no wonder the place is in the state it is. See a murder and do nothing because, “that’s OK mate nothing to do with me.” Well who will be the victim tomorrow, or the next day. It is up to us all to play our role. It is about you and me doing what is right by ourselves and others. It is about being responsible citizens about acting like mature responsible adults. It is our responsibility.

    June76

    “We’ve jumped, Mr Orde, it’s over to you!”??

    Nice one and I agree. Another area where cowardice and self interest rule supreme.

  • Briso

    No Crataegus, unless you and I were there, it’s not about you and me. Those who saw it are saying nothing. They may be afraid of those who carried it out or close to them. That is often, not always of course, how murder works, especially when carried out by an organised group, whether that’s the Kray gang or the IRA.

    It’s this ‘communal silence’ stuff that gets me. “No-one is saying anything” says Mick, in the same paragraph where he reports John O’Dowd’s ‘unequivocal yes’ and the IRA’s statement laying out it’s entire version of events, garnered by God alone knows what means and utterly useless as evidence. Do you think the cops don’t ‘know’ the identity of those mentioned in the IRA statement? Do they accept the IRA statement at face value? What on earth do you want them to do further, apart from dish out their old-fashioned form of summary justice something they’ve already, disgustingly, offered to do?

    So tell me, who is being complicit in this ‘communal silence’? And Mick, don’t tell me to paint it as widely as I want. You’re the one doing the painting.

  • jimmy

    We could be responsible citizens like June76 says. However why should one crime committed be as abhorant to us and prick our moral consciouness than say the countless murders by the crown forces where no-one was, or will ever be prosecuted for them remember the O,Loan Report. The government and police force need to act first in that mature and civilised manner before it can ask the people to do likewise.The McCartney Murder is now a political football, nothing else. Asking people to do this, is pure hypocrisy.The Murder of the Quin children, now theres a catalyst.R, McCartney will be an unsolved murder like any other and not the moral catalyst that will make the Republican community embrace and already inherent unequal justice system. How many people whould actually go to the Police if they seen Mad dog Adair get a Bullet? Very few I think I wouldnt, When Liberal ideals are challenged they are usually found wanting for replies.

  • Jocky

    Reading the McCartney and Finucane threads is both illustrtaing and heartly depressing.

    To see the same posters adopt 2 entirely different and contrary attitudes on similar crimes (murder with a political element) shows you how far NI is away from normallity.

    Until the majority in either side can get away from an our side good, their side bad mentality nothing will improve fast. The use such issues for constant petty point scoring by both sides is shocking.

    As Crataegus says, it’s all about the collective morality, no need for any soul searching, the usefull fools will do the thinking for you, just repeat the well rehearsed party line (even if it is entirely contradictory). You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem. Too many people are only interested in solving the other side of the problem while being prepared to gloss over their side and hence the problem remains.

    But too see so many people completely miss the point!!

  • Crataegus

    Bristo

    I think you miss the point. I don’t want the UDA,PIRA, or UVF to do anything other than disband. There is no place for private armies or organised gangsters in a normal society.

    Basically the position I take is that all crime is equally bad, be it Police sponsored or by a paramilitary organisation with or without political links. Each crime needs to be resolved and none of us should make excuses or try to hinder progress. I fully understand that some witnesses may be literally in fear of their lives, but what we have to collectively create is an atmosphere where these people are part of our society albeit a vulnerable part and the criminals have to be the ones who are ostracised and marginalised. We have to undermine the criminals, marginalise them and hopefully extract them.

    It is about changing the outlook of society. Each of us play our role, if we truly want change we all need to urge for progress on many issues surrounding policing and criminality. A lot of what I have read is totally debased. It is utterly unacceptable. People were MURDERED!*!* and many are still being intimidated. This has to end and it won’t happen unless we collectively have the courage and standing to address the problems fairly.

    If someone wants justice we should regard that as a normal aspiration and support them, if someone highlights major problems in the various security services then the points raised need to be addressed. The only people who gain by obstructions and delay are the guilty.

  • George

    Henry,
    “The IRA is an illegal organisation. It’s claims, statements and investigations have no standing in British law.”

    It wouldn’t matter if Pope Benedict made the statement. It would all be struck out as hearsay in a court of law.

    The PSNI would have to go and get the statements themselves.

  • Briso

    Crataegus, I couldn’t disagree with anything in your reply, except it’s Briso, not Bristo 😉 …

    The problem I have with the opening blog entry is that it implies that the ‘community’ is engaged in some sort of mafia style vow of omerta, based on misguided loyalty and fear. I simply believe this is complete rubbish. As with many other murders, the witnesses are not many in number and are not telling their story and the killers are not turning themselves in and confessing. That is all. It is no different than many other murders in Northern Ireland and across the world. I just want to know what exactly Mick means, as I’m now putting words in his mouth.

    I sincerely hope the family get justice.