“How peace can sometimes get in the way of justice…”

In case you missed it last night (and you’ve not read Katherine McCartney’s book Walls of Silence, Al Jazeera’s People and Power programme on the Robert McCartney killing has a good a review of the matter itself and political complications arising. Neither the PSNI nor Sinn Fein were available to speak to the documentary crew.

Katherine McCartney towards the end:

“His name is always going to be associated with the demise of the IRA. So those people, those IRA men who went down that night by doing what they did they brought down, or certainly put a nail in the coffin of their own organisation.”

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  • [aside]Mick, Jim Allister also reminded us that yesterday was the first anniversary of the murder of Paul Quinn.

  • Ann

    Is it just me, or is mick fealty getting to be a ringer for a younger John Hume??

    Other than that it doesn’t really add anything to what is already known does it?

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s the mad hair Ann.

    I would agree that there is nothing much new, but it’s a very useful recapitulation especially for a wider global audience that may not have followed the denouement of the story after March 2005.

  • Thanks for this Mick as I had not seen it, you Anthony and Katherine all made valid points, especially the one from Katherine you have posted up.

    It is a sad fact that few TV Programs of this type are made on UK or Irish TV, Al Jazeera is a first rate channel as it looks beyond the froth and follows through with stories, whereas as far as our channels are concerned, yesterdays news is chip paper.

    To use the words of the program maker, the program sharply undermined the north as a role model for peace in other countries and far from turning our attention away, it is imperative that an international commission for peace, justice and reconciliation is established.

  • RepublicanStones

    Sloggertoole.com ????

    Surely a cheap knock-off of this fine site.

    I agree with Mr Hall, good media outlet and was a thorn in the side of the West during the Iraq invasion.

  • Dewi

    Cowboyland indeed – Al Jazeera? I’ve only just found BBC Gael. What’s the latest on the Police investigation?

  • Mick

    Dewi,

    That would be BBC Alba? It’s a real gem. If you can find Al Jaz, the programme is running again tonight at 12.30am BST.

  • Sam Flanagan

    Mick Fealty looks remarkabley like the late Pete Boyle, “Crazy Joe Gallo.”

  • Sam Flanagan

    Sorry, should read, “PeteR Boyle.”

  • percy

    poor sisters, must be hell for them

  • Dewi

    “That would be BBC Alba?” – Yes, of course – sorry.

  • Liam Kennedy

    A shocking finding of this programme on the McCartney murder is that 3 years later virtually no one from the Short Strand can speak out publicly about the killing. Totalitarian regimes would be proud of this degree of community control. But then the Provo killers, like Mafia gangsters in southern Italy, live in the community and have ways and means of dealing with criticism.
    Liam Kennedy

  • Dec

    But then the Provo killers, like Mafia gangsters in southern Italy, live in the community and have ways and means of dealing with criticism.

    You’ve been criticising them for years yet here you are, still trotting out meaningless platitudes.

  • two criminals get involved in a fight in an inner city pub with a larger number of people. One gets killed and the Lorna Order dept of the holier-than-thou, hand wringers of society jump on the band wagon about an innocent man being killed and the poor community of Short Strand has suffered enough.

    The whole McCarthney killing smacks of hypocracy; alterior motives in bashing the Shinners as opposed to genuine concern for the murdered man and his family. If there was so much concern about the Short Strand then why was it abandoned for so long by these commentators.

    Surely there could have been other stories which would have been more media friendly other than hulking 6 foot, Short Strand criminals getting attacked? Devlin, Mickey-bo and Lisa Dornan were children killed but don’t make the news as much… wonder why?

    Is hypocracy in NI the equivalent of bigoty ?

  • Democratic

    Why does the word “murdered” seemed to come so hard to people the like of “my tuppence worth” who instead say things like “was attacked”, “got killed” etc, it is obvious that he has just as much of a skewed perspective as those he is complaining of on this issue….just another average Saturday night bar brawl and all that…

  • Pargagraph 2: bashing the Shinners as opposed to genuine concern for the MURDERED man and his family.

    but I also included KILLED regarding the children who are no longer with us… is this displaying prejudice? and these children weren’t involved in “a average Saturday night bar brawl”

    – it is obvious that Democrat has a skewed perspective … I’ll ask again, is hypocracy in NI the equivalent of bigoty ?

  • Democratic

    Let me ask you this “tuppence worth” do you believe Robert McCartney was “murdered” by local members of the IRA who then subsequently had arranged for the whole thing to be (forensically)cleaned up to avert blame – all in the vicinity of hundreds of local people nearby – none of whom seemed to see a thing….the rest of your post regarding Gerard Devlin (I presume this is who you mean) Lisa Dorrian etc are points well made in regard to the importance of these equally detestable murders but I strongly suspect you are just another one of those guys with a beam in his eye pointing out the motes in others….feel free to prove me wrong….

  • Dec

    Robert McCartney was “murdered” by local members of the IRA who then subsequently had arranged for the whole thing to be (forensically)cleaned up to avert blame – all in the vicinity of hundreds of local people nearby – none of whom seemed to see a thing

    Democratic

    Just to clear up a few points: the bar was cleaned by bar staff after the initial melee in Magennis’s. Robert McCartney was fatally stabbed in a darkened alleyway. None of Robert McCartney’s friends who were with him in that alley could identify the attacker, let alone the people still inside the bar.

  • Democratic

    Your getting into legal technicalities here Dec.
    Wasn’t Robert McCartney first beaten inside the bar by the aforementioned ex-volunteers or whatever the PC term is in full view of the clientelle. Secondly – yes I understand that it is easily possible that no-one from the bar or surrounding street would have seen the final, fatal stabbing blow amongst the throng who were attacking (especially since several hundred of them were in the toilet at the time) – but it is odd how many “dogs in the street” have visited this very site on many threads claiming how “everyone knows” who killed Robert McCartney and how it was not Jock Davidson…anyway the point I was making was that “tuppence worth” seems to be implying that the murder of Robert McCartney should not have been taken as seriously in light of the fact he was “six foot” and a “criminal” (?) – ridiculous I’m sure you’ll agree…

  • Democratic

    Just notice how you edited out my original question of “do you believe” before quoting my post Dec – I see what you did there….

  • PaddyReilly

    Why does the word “murdered” seemed to come so hard to people the like of blablabla

    As a legal pedant I should point out that those contraptions formerly marketed as “Burglar Alarms” are now known as “Intruder alarms” in deference to the Courts’ prerogative of deciding whether a burglary has taken place or not.

    Equally, in this case, as there has been no conviction it is premature to talk of murder. Judges get very ratty if you use terminology that pre-empts the decision of the court.

  • Dec

    Just notice how you edited out my original question of “do you believe” before quoting my post Dec – I see what you did there….

    I wouldn’t read too much into that. I don’t need selective editing to drive a truck through the holes in your argument.

    Wasn’t Robert McCartney first beaten inside the bar by the aforementioned ex-volunteers or whatever the PC term is in full view of the clientelle.

    Well according to the McCartney’s it was Brendan Devine who was assaulted inside the bar. However, they’re more coy when it comes to answering the question who started the fight.

    anyway the point I was making was that “tuppence worth” seems to be implying that the murder of Robert McCartney should not have been taken as seriously in light of the fact he was “six foot” and a “criminal” (?) – ridiculous I’m sure you’ll agree…

    I’ve often wondered why the meticulously planned murder of Andy Kearney in the New Lodge attracted less attention. You’re probaly asking yourself now “Who’s he?”

  • by Dec ^…I’ve often wondered why the meticulously planned murder of Andy Kearney in the New Lodge attracted less attention. You’re probaly asking yourself now “Who’s he?” ^

    maybe, Dec, you’ve seen the point I was making…. some killings are more media noticeable than others and get acres of news print while others, which to me might be more horrific (ie the killing of the children), don’t seem to generate as many lines in the papers, generate as much concern for the neighbourhood (previously abandoned eg Short Strand) or bring about a refusal to issue St Patrick’s Day invites to the White House.

    ~The killers were clearly linked to one political party ~ I hear you say. No one has been proven guilty of killing McCartney in the laneway. The Shinners were indoors at the time. Until proven different by the top class (& honourable) judicial system that I’ve heard about for decades then I can only take this as being true.

    The linkage with one political element of the system in NI ………..one only needs to review the comparisons with the G Devlin killing in North Belfast. The “Fishy” element of his killers is suspected of being a British Agent and yet the British Govt gets invites to the White House all the time. There’s hardly a journalist at the moment complaining about the MI5&6;Spooks in the present debates about the Truth Commissions and yet they’ve never complained about the Spooks agents / Loyalists killing the likes of G. Devlin.

    Hence my question … is hypocracy in NI the same as bigotry ?

    Democratic? # anyway the point I was making was that “tuppence worth” seems to be implying that the murder of Robert McCartney should not have been taken as seriously in light of the fact he was “six foot” and a “criminal” (?) – ridiculous I’m sure you’ll agree… #

    a drunken, towering, criminal who started a fight with a larger number of people in a bar in comparison to the killing of Devlin, Lisa Dorrian or Mickey Bo….. you’re right, I don’t consider these as similar or comparable in any way, shape or form. Oil and water; night and day; black and white….. although you wouldn’t think that society feels the same by the acres of media time given to the McCartney killing… wonder why? Care to answer? While you’re at it, a chara… child killings? how do you feel about those three mentioned in my earlier posts ?

  • susan

    Were you in Magennis’s, my tuppence worth, that you are so confident posting it was Robert McCartney started the fight? I thought Brendan Devine was the source of the argument? McCartney left two very young boys behind. As you are rightly concerned about the murders of children, how do you feel about the murders of children’s parents? Not an issue? I don’t think of 6 foot as “towering” any more than I link “drunkeness” with a probably cause of death.

    Dec, where are you going with this? Are you upset that not many outside the immediate family pretended to care when Andy Kearny was stabbed and bled to death, or that too many outside the immediate family pretended to care when Robert McCartney was stabbed and bled to death — until Stormont was restored and he became very much yesterday’s news?

    Or maybe murder is the wrong word — butchered? slaughtered? Ask the resident “legal pendant” MCCartney was beaten so badly an eye was lost, he had so many stitches around his neck in the coffin some mourners thought the stitches were a necklace, and the stab wound went from the sternum to the navel. And wasn’t the tape stolen from the bar’s security camera?

    Discuss and debate the hypocrisy of some of the coverage of the McCartney murder, but why try to put the murdered man in the worst light, and minimise the reality of his death? Was it murder?

    I do not see any difference between my tuppence worth’s posts and the ongoing efforts on the FAIR website to smear the murdered Reavey brothers. What happens in someone’s interior life that they feel a sense of satisfaction about their efforts to blacken the name of anyone who dies a miserable, slow and agonising death?

    Did some politicians and journalists, bloggers, etc. focus on the McCartney murder for political expedience, overlooking victims of loyalist violence? Yes. But, to paraphrase my tuppence worth, is hypocrisy and self-righteous pontification in NI the same as murder? Rail against hypocrisy, champion the causes of Mickey BO, Devlin, Lisa Dorrian (pleas do), but why the effort to imply that McCartney was just a case of some sort of riffraff from the Markets come to a predictable end?

  • Mark McGregor

    The personal memory of this that will stay with me is being with members of SF in a coffee bar at one of the places the McCartney sisters went to push their case with the ‘great and good’. On mentioning to a very young, very short-sighted SF member that the sisters were there hearing him say “where are the bitches” as Catherine stood just by his elbow was really, really shitty.

  • of course I wasn’t there. I wrote “two criminals get involved in a fight in an inner city pub with a larger number of people …” whereby I didn’t display any subjective opinion. Read the black type and stop reading between the lines.

    “…difference between my tuppence worth’s posts and the ongoing efforts on the FAIR website to smear the murdered Reavey brothers”

    I don’t think I wrote lies whereas FAIR wrote lies and Paisley-rumour about the Reaveys. I painted McCartney as a criminal in a drunken pub brawl to point out that “decent people” (or UUP as opposed to their self-awarded handle) wouldn’t previously have cared about McCartney if the circumstances had been different (ie no Republicans involved).

    i’m posting about the hypocracy of the media and politicians and their belated concerns about Short Strand. A similar case is the Quinn killing in Monaghan which has caught the interest of a female Fine Gael TD (she visited S Armagh) like as if she’d ever cared about the region a decade ago.

    I’m also posting about the acres of newspaper print about the McCartney killing and nothing about the other deaths mentioned altho they should be a lot more ‘media friendly’.

    Many who post about the McCartney case don’t care about the victim but use the case to attack the Shinners… it’s purely political grandstanding. If they’d concern about murder then they’d also have concern about all the other deaths in the North and I don’t think they do. I think too many have a heirarchy or death in NI and that’s my point. I can’t imagine that some who championed the McCartney case have much concern for an over 6′ Nationalist, criminal who got into a drunken brawl in a pub only for the fact that his killers seem to have been Republicans.

    Hypothetically speaking, should British soldiers who, when in mufti, kill someone, is the British Min of Defense dragged before the court of public opinion to answer for the soldier’s behaviour ? No. Well then that would be hypocracy… which in NI….. usually means bigotry.

  • Mark,
    you quote a moron “… mentioning to a very young, very short-sighted SF member….hearing him say “where are the bitches”…” and you hear a moronic comeback…. Sorry but you should expect somthing stupid from someone stupid.

    It’s sad really only to be expected.

  • I’m posting about the hypocracy of the media and politicians and their belated concerns about Short Strand.

    MTW

    Why are you bothering with what arsehole media people think and do, it seems to me you are repeating the behavior of these very people and in an equally opportunist manner. The McCartney family were Short strand people, did they not deserve some loyalty in their time of need?

    If there had not been an orchestrated campaign against them, perhaps they would have had no need to move in the direction they did, it was take that road or swallow their brothers dreadful death. Which in truth is what you would have preferred.

    You are keen to claim that Robert McCartney and BD were crims, but the men that killed RM were nothing more than drunken thugs, who became involved in a pub fight and brought into disrepute an organization from which good men and women had laid down their lives. It takes two to tango old son.

    After RM’s death, the real problem arose when senior Belfast republicans took responsibility for these drunken thugs who became involved in a murderous pub brawl and gave them the type of support a volunteer could expect when they returned from active service. This fact went down the line and people not dissimilar to yourself felt they were doing the republican movement a favor by bad mouthing the McCartney women. Some favor.

    True when senior Provos realized their mistake they offered the Sisters the option of having the culprits shot. Which must rate as one the worst derelictions of duty that any senior members of Óglaigh Na hÉireann committed throughout the course of the war. Talk about doing a Pilate, they washed their hands of all responsibility and instead asked the sisters and RM partner if in return for their brothers death they wished some other mothers son’s blood on their hands.

    The McCartney family were made of stronger stuff and placed the responsibility back where it belonged, in the hands of the people who had command over a number of those who murdered Robert McCartney. Did they take up there responsibility as senior members of Óglaigh Na hÉireann. Did they hell as like, they set the smear and fear brigade on to the women and as this thread shows some have never been stood down.

    Solders all over the world often get into pub brawls, thankfully such a tragic outcome as this is comparatively rare, what makes this case unique is the senior ranks of the army these men belonged to, not only made a bad situation worse by their refusal to take proper responsibility in the days after the murder, but they either orchestrated or tolerated a campaign against the victims family.

    It was these acts that made Katherine McCartney’s words, ring true when she said the following; and any honest man or woman knows it.

    “His name is always going to be associated with the demise of the IRA. So those people, those IRA men who went down that night by doing what they did they brought down, or certainly put a nail in the coffin of their own organization.”

  • “Why are you bothering with what arsehole media people think and do…”

    because they contribute to how society evolves and they help develop so much of society’s opinions in their own likeness.

    “…or swallow their brothers dreadful death. Which in truth is what you would have preferred”

    PREFERRED ???? I seem moderators intervene and demand an apology for less said than that.

    I never said what should have happened. I never said the killers hould have been arrested, convicted & jailed nor did I say they should have got off scot free. All I said was a lot of people championed the RM case simply to knock the Shinners (and I’ve never voted SF in my life). I also compared the RM killing to the three children which doesn’t get much news print for obvious reasons. You seem to be reading between my lines.

    “…but the men that killed RM were nothing more than drunken thugs, who became involved in a pub fight …. It takes two to tango old son.”

    That’s my point… a drunken pub fight & killing which never usually brings comments by Tony Blair, Sen Kennedy, Geo Bush or more than half the politicos in Stormont. You, old son, should read what I type and nor what you think I mean

    “…people not dissimilar to yourself felt they were doing the republican movement a favor by bad mouthing the McCartney women.”

    Again reading between the lines. I never bad mouthed the sisters. The attack was wrong, & the killing terrible; the sisters have my complete sympathy. That’s why my first posting included the following…*The whole McCarthney killing smacks of hypocracy; alterior motives in bashing the Shinners as opposed to genuine concern for the murdered man and his family. If there was so much concern about the Short Strand then why was it abandoned for so long by these commentators. *

    I never intended to do anyone a favour (or the opposite) but get things off my chest

  • “Why are you bothering with what arsehole media people think and do…”

    because they contribute to how society evolves and they help develop so much of society’s opinions in their own likeness.

    “…or swallow their brothers dreadful death. Which in truth is what you would have preferred”

    PREFERRED ???? I’ve seen moderators intervene and demand an apology for less said than that.

    I never said what should have happened. I never said the killers hould have been arrested, convicted & jailed nor did I say they should have got off scot free. All I said was a lot of people championed the RM case simply to knock the Shinners (and I’ve never voted SF in my life). I also compared the RM killing to the three children which doesn’t get much news print for obvious reasons. You seem to be reading between my lines.

    “…but the men that killed RM were nothing more than drunken thugs, who became involved in a pub fight …. It takes two to tango old son.”

    That’s my point… a drunken pub fight & killing which never usually brings comments by Tony Blair, Sen Kennedy, Geo Bush or more than half the politicos in Stormont. You, old son, should read what I type and nor what you think I mean

    “…people not dissimilar to yourself felt they were doing the republican movement a favor by bad mouthing the McCartney women.”

    Again reading between the lines. I never bad mouthed the sisters. The attack was wrong, & the killing terrible; the sisters have my complete sympathy. That’s why my first posting included the following…*The whole McCarthney killing smacks of hypocracy; alterior motives in bashing the Shinners as opposed to genuine concern for the murdered man and his family. If there was so much concern about the Short Strand then why was it abandoned for so long by these commentators. *

    I never intended to do anyone a favour (or the opposite) but get things off my chest

  • susan

    “I painted McCartney as a criminal in a drunken pub brawl”– my tuppence worth

    You state you were not in Magennis’s, and the late Robert McCartney had no history of arrests and/or convictions. What knowledge and/or authority do you have to “paint” the dead man a “criminal”? You say the killing of McCartney was “a drunken pub fight,” but what injuries are you aware of from the fight that were inflicted and caused by Robert McCartney? What evidence do you have that McCartney was “drunk”? You describe him as “towering” and “hulking,” but how are you judging his behaviour on the night, or are you making presumptions because he was a tall man and he was having a few pints with BD?

    “That’s why my first posting included the following…*The whole McCarthney killing smacks of hypocracy;”– my tuppence worth

    I’m sure in good faith what you mean is “the whole McCartney campaign,” as opposed to “the whole McCartney killing.” The McCartney campaign began with the sisters and a candlelit vigil in the Short Strand, and to the small extent that it can be said to continue at all, it now continues with the sisters. True, Irish, British and even American politicians and media figures made statements and some became involved, true for awhile attention from the media and media outlets was overwhelming. BUt to accuse “the whole McCartney campaign” of hypocrisy is to accuse the sisters of hypocrisy.

    I’m glad you have now written “the sisters have my complete sympathy.” Perhaps you feel the sisters were exploited and abandoned by some of their “supporters,” that some of the decisions and statements they made were likely to backfire with the local community — or perhaps you don’t, I don’t wish to put words in your mouth. But
    what course of action do you think the McCartney sisters should have made in the wake of their brother’s death?

    “I never said the killers hould have been arrested, convicted & jailed nor did I say they should have got off scot free.”–my tuppence worth

    My tuppence worth, would you take a stand and say the killers of Mickey Bo McIlveen, Gerard Devlin and Lisa Dorrian should have been arrested, convicted, and jailed? If so, why is the Robert McCartney death different for you? Again, what evidence do you have of him physically fighting, or even being drunk and disorderly, on the night he was slain?

    Or do you not have any evidence at all?

  • Democratic

    Tuppence in answer to your question I agree with you that the media are sometimes very selective which murders here draw the most attention and comdemnation – this is course is very wrong – however judging by your own comments on this issue and your attempts to discredit Robert McCartney’s victim status you are just as guilty as those you are complaining about – as for your stated ambivilance on whether Robert McCartney’s killers should have faced jail – well that speaks volumes – motes and beams – just like I said at the beginning….

  • Democratic

    “I wouldn’t read too much into that. I don’t need selective editing to drive a truck through the holes in your argument.”
    But yet you did Dec, yet you did – nice evasion on the rest of my post….
    As for McCartney & Devine being coy on who started the fight…..perhaps you think this is in someway relevant to the murder?…were they as coy as the hundreds of short-sighted witnesses on that night too….

  • My tuppence worth,

    I do not wish to be to harsh, as I am certain on many things we would agree, but in my dictionary the type of sympathy you have offered the McCartney family, is between shit and syphilis.

  • Red Diesel

    Tuppence Worth, Shinner-bashing is both honourable and appropriate in both the Quinn and McCartney cases. Nobody invented the Provo connection in either case – and in the McCartney case it was never even denied. It is precisely because Sinn Fein has systematically run political cover for the killers in both cases that they should be bashed. Sinn Fein is an integral element in the impunity still enjoyed by Provo killer gangs. There is absolutely nothing hypocritical abouat this, nor is it reasonable to demand that everyone should dole out equal portions of condemnation all round. It was absolutely despicable of Conor Murphy to attempt to explain away Paul Quinn’s murder as the result of a criminal feud before this lad’s body was properly cold. That is where the true hypocrisy lies. Why call Robert McCartney a criminal? He was a victim of murder, pure and simple. Why diminish the criminal responsibility of killers? If it were not for the impunity enjoyed by Provo killers, supplied in part by Sinn Fein’s political cover, McCartney and/or Quinn might still be alive or at least their killers would be in jail.

  • Mick

    MTW,

    If you watch the programme you’ll see Katherine deal with the cause celebre point. That a given cause is embarrassing to one or other of the vested interests in NI, is a reason to press further, not lay off.

    It’s also worth noting that all the cases highlighted in the Cory Report ahve been blunted by a series of deals (Enquiries Act 2005 being the first notable one) that have allowed past indiscretions by both state and anti state actors to covered in concrete and, in terms of the Peace Process, put beyond use.

    McIntyre put it best in the film (roughly paraphrased): “The IRA’s line of blood was crossed and they killed a member of a community they should have been protecting”.

    The point I made in the film was that in some measure the party was hemmed in by its position on policing at the time. Much of what the party could or could not do was severely circumscribed by its own political imperatives at the time.

    But, whether you look at this from a Republican or an anti Republican perspective, this was a shaming episode, which not only compromised the rogue IRA unit implicated in the killing itself, but those individuals within the movement who moved smartly into line, first to provide cover and then later provided protracted obstruction to those including the family who simply wanted to know the truth of what happened that night.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘..but those individuals within the movement who moved smartly into line,’

    Which is indicative of the Top-down authority the Shinners practice, which is a long way from what a so-called party of the proletariat should be about. Granted there was an element of self-preservation in the handling of this, but a pattern is developing.