McCartney murder: Police question man who walked into station

Detectives tonight questioned a man about the murder of Robert McCartney, who was stabbed to death after a row with republicans in a Belfast bar.

Detectives tonight questioned a man about the murder of Robert McCartney, who was stabbed to death after a row with republicans in a Belfast bar.

The man, aged 31, walked into a police station with a solicitor to be interviewed, police said.

Mr McCartney, 33, a father of two, died when he was attacked by IRA men outside Magennis’s Bar on the night of January 30.

The IRA later admitted three of its members were allegedly involved in the fatal attack. And even though the Sinn Féin leadership of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have urged the killers to give themselves up, police have yet to charge anybody in connection with the murder.

Immediately after the attack the murder scene was cleaned up and the murder weapon, a kitchen knife, has never been recovered.

At least two Sinn Féin election candidates and a former party councillor were among 70-plus customers in the bar on the night of the attack.

The man being questioned tonight walked into a police station outside Belfast - police have not disclosed where – at lunchtime accompanied by his solicitor.

It is understood the man being questioned comes from the Markets area not far from the bar.

Mr McCartney’s five sisters and his partner Bridgeen Hagans have waged a massive campaign in a bid to bring the killers to justice.

Tonight they said they were not surprised at the latest development.

Catherine McCartney said: “We expected this to happen and we think it’s part of the strategy to trivialise the charges. We know what they (the IRA) are at.”

The sisters met US President George Bush as part of their campaign and are now considering taking a civil case against the men they believe were directly involved in the murder.

Sinn Féin has suspended seven of its members while the police investigation takes place.

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