Friday 28 April 2017

SF under renewed pressure over bar murder

ALAN MURRAY

A SISTER of a man stabbed to death by republicans in Belfast has called on a Sinn Fein member to make statements to police about the murder before she stands for election.

Deirdre Hargey will be co-opted to replace one of Sinn Fein's most senior figures, Alex Maskey, on Belfast City Council in a matter of days.

Ms Hargey was one of a number of party members in Magennis's bar on the night Robert McCartney was murdered, and was suspended by the party and withdrawn as a candidate in the 2005 council elections just weeks later.

Last week, the Sinn Fein woman was named among party members who will be co-opted on to the council as it beefs up its profile to counter attacks from dissident republicans in next May's elections.

Former IRA jail leader Jim McVeigh was put in charge of the party's 14 Belfast councillors last week to spearhead the new hardline approach.

Ms Hargey said last Thursday that she did make a statement about her presence in Magennis's Bar on the night of the brutal murder.

However, Catherine McCartney said none of the Sinn Fein members who were in the bar helped detectives.

She said: "They may have made statements to the Police Ombudsman but they didn't sit down with detectives and go over in detail the events that took place in the bar or answer any questions.

"Sinn Fein is still failing to send out the clear message to the public to give information to the police.

"Gerry Adams is a hypocrite. He is demanding clarity and investigations into events that happened over 30 years ago but when it comes to murders that happened five years ago, Sinn Fein members won't help the police."

Ms McCartney added: "Deirdre Hargey and her friends who were in the bar that night should come forward and put our family out of our misery before she puts herself before the electorate in May."

Sunday Independent

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