McCartneys accuse republicans of stepping up intimidation

Relatives of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney have accused republicans of orchestrating a growing campaign of intimidation against them.

Relatives of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney have accused republicans of orchestrating a growing campaign of intimidation against them.

The 33-year-old father-of-two was stabbed and beaten to death in the city last January, allegedly by senior IRA members.

His sisters and fiancée have claimed they are being intimidated by republicans for mounting a massive public campaign to have the killers brought to justice.

They have blamed republicans for an attack on a close friend of Mr McCartney on Monday and have also claimed that a crowd of republicans picketed his fiancée's home on Tuesday night.

A women's group from the Short Strand has issued a statement saying it held a meeting in the area on Tuesday, but it was unrelated to the McCartneys and was arranged to try to prevent interface violence.

The group said it had sent a statement to the family explaining the situation.

Around 150 people gathered outside the home of Mr McCartney's fiancée last night to show their support for the family.

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