“As soon as I got clearance from the IRA…”

Interesting evidence being given at the trial of the men accused of murdering Robert McCartney, in which he accuses the IRA of managing the extent of who could or could not go to the police after Mr McCartney’s killing in January 2005:

Ed Gowdy, 40, said he “can’t remember 90%” of what happened that evening. However he told the court that following the killing, IRA members called to his house on several occasions. He said: “as soon as I got clearance from the IRA, I made a statement to police.”

During cross examination, Mr Gowdy had already admitted lying to police because of perceived paramilitary involvement in the murder. He said that because of where he lived, he “didn’t know the situation at the time, what I could say or what I couldn’t say”.

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  • Marcu Fartlighteru


    My reading of the story from the BBC website was that locally the IRA told him not to make a statement but were over ruled by the IRA leadership who told him to make a statement.

    I cant see what more they could do, especially as the option of their own form of ‘military justice’ was no longer open to them.

    They could have left someone bond and gagged at Mountpottinger RUC barracks but I doubt if that would have sufficed anyway as the police clearly knew who they were after from the start.

  • agh

    I think you’ll find the ‘IRA leadership’ took several weeks to come around to the idea of ‘allowing’ witnesses to go to the police. Perhaps due to the tremendous pressure the Ra and SF were under from the McCartney family, 2 governments and most importantly, America. Make no mistake, without the political pressure this case would have simply disapeared. Fair play to the family for their persuit of justice.

  • Marcu, here’s the BBC item:

    Ed Gowdy told Belfast Crown court he was told not to co-operate with police.

    However, he said weeks later, an IRA army council representative told him he could talk to detectives. He then made a full statement on 10 March 2005.

    Mr Gowdy, who was with Mr McCartney on the night he was killed, said his statements before that date had contained lies because he feared retribution from the IRA.

  • Enda Kenny, March 2005: ” In fact, in the early stages, Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey attacked the SDLP’s Deputy Leader, Alisdair McDonald, for stating that IRA men were responsible for the murder. The Provisional Movement also sought, in the initial aftermath of the murder, to downplay the significance of what happened by dismissing it as ‘knife culture’ as if it was a bar room brawl that got out of hand.

    The Provisional Movement also rushed to condemn police searches of suspects’ homes and to orchestrate rioting to hinder these searches. It is clear that, far from supporting the McCartney family’s calls for justice, Sinn Féin and the IRA did everything they could to distance themselves from this crime. It wasn’t until a fortnight after Robert’s murder that a Sinn Féin representative, Gerry Kelly, met the family and it was even later when the IRA issued its first statement on the matter.”

  • chróga Solamh

    Does the readership feel the, (apparent if not stated), policy of the IMC – that a murder is not attributable to the PIRA unless it can be proven to have been orchestrated by what the media & government claim to be the ‘high command’ structure (of an organisation with no visible records, and no moral authority to assert any such records as genuine) – gives PIRA units retaining their structure and influence (with the aid of state sanctioned proxy organisations) a reprehensible liberty to continue to exact their authority, through the most awful means, without the worry of the organisation they belong to and that is responsible for their actions and who’s expertise and authority they employ being compromised ?

    As it were, A limited licence to do as they please to the (terminal) detriment of certian members of their host community ?

    Innocents were sacrificed to allow our government to control terrorist crime effectively with high level intelligence.

    Is that same government prepared to sacrifice innocents, to the degenerates who warrant democratic and fraternal authority within the PIRA, to maintain functioning policies of general pacification ?

    That the sinn fein section of our government admits such passivity is a consideration of temporary policy, rather than a moral undertaking, complicates and degrades further any supposed merits of such tactic, if we agree it exists.

    (what’s the bets we can determine the vast majority of positions on this proposed dynamic now, purely on the location of the readers baptism ?)

  • CS, the strategy of plausible deniability has been around for some time.

  • chrga Solamh (def. ‘brave peace’ – I hope)

    The liberty that it (PD) confers on people (who’s INSANE activities are increasingly being whitewashed) in the junior ranks of all the organisations makes me feel very sorry for folks in the estates.

    I grew up in an ‘infamous’ estate and am only to aware, as most people are, of the ‘outside the historical narrative’ bestial sadism that went on and the vital need to protect people from it. There does not, to me, seem to be scope in our current arrangement to protect people (who are often isolated and unpopular) under the authority of the brigades and the collective zeal of their supporters.

    As a sinn fein press conference once solemnly intoned “where’s the equality here?” our brave new Ireland cannot be wholesome if we leave people at the mercy of brutes on the grounds that they are poor.

    (i suspect the handle actually translates as ‘victor peace’)

  • The first beast, who is said to be the Antichrist, is prophesied to have “seven heads” (Rev 13:1), which is coincidentally the number of heads on the IRA army council, including Gerry Adams’ allegedly.

    “Who can make war against him?” (Rev 13:7). The IRA has been described as ‘the most sophisticated terrorist organisation in the history of mankind’. Their structure makes it impossible for a conventional army to defeat them.

  • victor peace

    wtf ???

    you lot on here are bloody mental you know.


  • Belfast Gonzo

    Marcu Fartlighteru

    You are incorrect in that the IRA offered to shoot those responsible for McCartney’s murder, so the option of ‘military justice’ was very much open to them.

    John O’Connell

    Someone who claims to be the Messiah telling someone else that they can’t face reality has got to be the best quote on this thread.

  • Belfasst Gonzo

    I suppose you thought that this conflict was going to end with Adams and Paisley on top.

    That would be tragic and it will not be in the end. Good will win.

  • Steve


    Good is in the eye of the beholder, who are you to say that good has not already won?

    Just because it does not conform to your definition of good?

    And don’t spout passages from your magical book as they only have meaning if you believe and besdies which why should I believe your interpretation of some one elses interpretation of fairy tales written hundreds of years after the supposed events

  • Steve

    Good is in the eye of the beholder

    An attempt at really deep American wisdom. That’s why people say that America is really shallow, you know. We’re not laughing at you. You have the Nukes after all,but I think that the only people you’ll ever use them on is your own. I pity all the decent Americans who have to put up with people like you.

  • Steve

    They don’t delusional John


    Nice try at deflection though.

  • “I am CANADIAN”

    Isn’t Canada in, er, North America? 😉

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Nevin: “Isn’t Canada in, er, North America? ;)”

    Isn’t that just like you, Nevin, draggin’ facts into the perfectly good dust-up… 😉

    J O’C: “An attempt at really deep American wisdom. That’s why people say that America is really shallow, you know. We’re not laughing at you. You have the Nukes after all,but I think that the only people you’ll ever use them on is your own. I pity all the decent Americans who have to put up with people like you.”

    Obviously you’re a little slack on your knowledge of Europe’s “friend” to the east, the once (and future?) Soviet Union, which tested the effectiveness of nuclear warheads as a sort of grand-mal landscaping tool, with some impressive side-effects on the local population.

    But then, you’re snide shot had little enough to do with reality or fact and more with the stereotypical “look down the nose” European pomposity.

  • More here, Mick.