Fresh appeal over Robert McCartney death

The family of IRA murder victim Robert McCartney will today launch a new appeal for information on the first anniversary of his death.

The family of IRA murder victim Robert McCartney will today launch a new appeal for information on the first anniversary of his death.

The father-of-two was knifed to death outside a Belfast city centre bar in an attack that plunged the republican movement into crisis.

The 33-year-old victim’s sisters and fiancee, who claimed the murderers were being protected by a wall of silence, have since taken their campaign for justice to the White House and European parliament.

Even though one man has been charged with the murder, they claim up to 15 people were involved in the attack close to Magennis’s bar on January 31 last year.

The IRA later said it had expelled three of its men over the attack, and even offered to shoot those responsible.

Sinn Féin also suspended 12 members and urged witnesses in the pub that night to tell authorities what they saw.

The party insists it has done everything possible to help the family’s quest for the killers to be apprehended.

But the McCartneys believe up to 70 drinkers in the bar on the night of the murder may have been intimidated out of providing crucial evidence.

They will today ask for the wall of silence to be broken, when police are expected to put on show CCTV footage taken from near the murder scene.

The driver of a mystery blue car spotted revving its engine while the attack was carried out may also provide crucial clues, they believe.

Paula McCartney said: “We know people still have information and haven’t come forward.

“It’s now a year later and this family is just not getting any respite at all.

“We know getting justice isn’t going to get Robert back, but it will be a step forward in the healing process.”

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