Tuesday 25 June 2019

'A weight has been lifted' - sister of Robert McCartney on the murder of Jock Davison

Catherine McCartney (left) and Paula, who say they did not want justice for their brother Robert down the barrel of a gun
Catherine McCartney (left) and Paula, who say they did not want justice for their brother Robert down the barrel of a gun
Gerard Davison
PSNI carry out checkpoints in a ‘high visibility operation intended to counter a ‘severe’ dissident republican threat
Bobby Storey (right) and Sean 'Spike' Murray (centre) carry the coffin of Gerard "Jock" Davison, a former IRA commander, in the Market's area of Belfast. Photo: PA

Sarah Stack

A sister of Robert McCartney has said a weight has been lifted following the murder of former IRA commander Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison.

Catherine McCartney and her siblings believe Davison - who was buried yesterday - gave the order IRA members to kill their brother in a Belfast pub 10 years ago.

He was shot dead close to his home on Tuesday morning.

Catherine said she was shocked when her sister Paula broke the news to her on the telephone.

"It was a very surreal feeling," she said.

"It was as if, very strangely, a weight was lifted.

"Justice probably would apply that maybe there  was an element of right about it, but murder is murder at the end of the day and we would condemn that.

"But on that very human level, he has been in our lives in the last 10 years and we can never think of Robert without thinking of Jock and then it was just gone.

"Certainly for me it was as if that aspect of it disappeared with those words."

Read more: Black balloons carried at funeral of murdered IRA commander

Murder victim Robert McCartney
Murder victim Robert McCartney

The McCartney sisters’ spoke on Sunday with Miriam on RTE Radio One. Their full interviewed Miriam O'Callaghan will be aired at 10am tomorrow morning.

Paula told Miriam she was also shocked when she heard the news, before the "flood gates" opened.

"He (Jock) played such a centre figure, not only in Robert's murder but also in our lives afterwards and it seemed very close," she said.

"It would be hypocritical of me to say I felt any sympahy for Jock Davison," she continued.

"I did get emotional when I heard he was dead to the point where I cried, but I wasn't crying for him. I was crying for Robert.

"For me the is reality is he isn't coming back.

"The campaign for a lot of the time was a crutch and kept Robert, for me anyway, alive to a certain extent."

Read more: Our bid for justice died with ‘Jock’, say McCartney sisters

Paula said she does not agree with murder on any level for any reason and would have preferred to have seen Davison before the court of law.

"I feel that has also been robbed," she said.

Robert McCartney (33) was stabbed to death outside Magennis’s bar in Belfast in 2005 while up to 70 republicans attended an event in the bar.

Davison, who was arrested but never charged, was accused or ordering the killing and the IRA accused of covering it up.

Davison 48-year-old was shot a number of times in the head during the execution-style attack in the Markets area of Belfast on Tuesday morning.

Read more: Profile of Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison - the IRA boss who ordered the brutal killing of Robert McCartney

Police say they have ruled out a sectarian motive, or dissident republican involvement and are trawling Davison’s past to draw up a list of suspects who may have wanted him dead.

Catherine said the murder of a top IRA man has stunned the republican community and the entire city.

"Does that mean that people will feel the IRA have gone away, and that their power in the communities is not what it was," she asked.

"Will that make people feel, who maybe would have wanted to come forward and help, more confident now?

"So we'll never say never that something may happen.

"But certainly Jock Davison, holding him accountable, that's gone."

Read more: Gerard 'Jock' Davison murder: Shooting of ex-IRA man 'not sectarian'

Catherine says she does not feel robbed, but feels the weight was lifted as they have no choice to persue someone who's not here.

"Victims always feel that the can't give up," she added.

"The fact that that choice has been taken away from us has lifted a burden for me."

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