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I have followed the tragic and infuriating case of Robert McCartney, murdered by thugs in a Belfast pub by a group of men while several onlookers witnessed the killing. His sisters and family have stood up to threats and bribes to insist on justice for Robert -- in fact, the McCartneys have begun developing a website at www.justiceforrobert.org. Earlier today I received a letter from Gemma McCartney, one of Robert's sisters, in response to a post I wrote noting that arrests had finally been made in connection with her brother's murder. With her permission, I'm posting this as an open letter..
They murdered my brother without regard - Do they think that does not hurt? It breaks my heart.
They thought could walk away because they had the shield of the IRA. But the IRA is a more educated animal than these beasts, and true Republicans have seen through their attempts to dismiss the actions that were authorised that night. When the Army counsel held an internal inquiry the result upheld the reasoning that they must be held accountable for those actions. Despite public calls from the leader of Sinn Fein these men still act without account and dismiss the authority that they swore allegiance to.
Will time ease their conscience? I shall make it MY task to continuously remind them of the error of their ways and the debt they owe us all.
Brave men, who have fought and suffered for principles, have admitted that this has become a public embarrassment to their aspirations of Truth and Justice. This calls out to be rectified before the credibility of nationalism, republicanism or political mandates can be restored. On an international stage, the people who became embroiled in the events of that night, have been shown to have acted like a pack of hyenas, with a blood-lust that strikes fear to the core of society.
When the is no hope of mercy Justice nor accountability the very fabric of society begins to dissolve. The moral disciplines by which we live will most assuredly cast our destiny. And the Irish reputation for civility and respectability died on that night.
How can the man in the street begin to fix what has been so damaged? I am tempted to say - write to your MP (MLA, or representative). It may vent your anger or opinion but in normal society the mechanism is a system where the price for murder is imprisonment. I want people to say to their brother, sister, cousin and neighbour: "We want a fair society. Who can deliver that for us?" Rebuke those who suppress your freedom of speech by verbally attacking you, argue the case for righteousness, and stand up to threats (implied or real) because together we stand United; divided we all lose our future.
While the Police need the support of the public to prosecute criminals, witnesses to that crime need to fulfill their social and moral obligation to protect the victims. Similarly, how many of you would hesitate to telephone for an ambulance, if you arrived at a serious RTA? Regret after the event is one thing, but to remain inactive and not try to make amends is inexcusable. It may take courage, that you thought you did not possess, but doing something to prevent crime can only yield benefits for us all in the future.
Support for Justice is a flaming torch that needs to shine through any attempt at cover up. Ours is the right to claim Justice, demand Justice and expect Justice for all victims.
Gemma McCartney 9/June/05Sphere It View blog reactions
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