Monday 11 December 2017

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

‘Now ex-IRA boss can never be held accountable for Robert’s murder’

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
Graffiti mocking murdered IRA man Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison appeared overnight on several walls in a loyalist area of east Belfast

Suzanne Breen, Ian Mallon, Jim Cusack and Paul Williams

The sisters of Robert McCartney say their campaign for justice has now ended after the murder of former IRA commander Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison whom they believe gave the order to kill their brother.

“We wanted Jock to face justice in a courtroom, not down the barrel of a gun,” said Catherine McCartney. “But the type of justice we hoped for has eluded us.

“Our campaign for Robert is effectively over because Jock’s death means he can never be held accountable for what he did that night.”

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

It is understood several motives for Davison’s murder are under consideration. Yesterday detectives arrested, and later released without charge, a man who was a friend of McCartney.

But informed sources in Belfast say that the move was made to divert attention away from claims that the murder was carried out by dissidents.

A source described the approach as a “ludicrous smoke screen” by the police.

The same sources also revealed that two high-ranking members of the Provisional IRA were advised by police to leave their homes for their own safety within hours of the attack.

Read more: Upsurge in NI violence is a threat to all of us

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

However, sources claimed the murder bears all the hallmarks of a dissident attack – despite the insistence of the PSNI and Sinn Féin that it was not.

Security sources in Belfast indicated that Davison may have been murdered by figures associated with some of his former victims.

Davison was suspected for the murder of Sammy Ward (29), the head of a splinter republican group, the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation, who was shot dead in a south Belfast club in September 1992.

Davison was also head of an IRA unit, using the cover-name Direct Action Against Drug Dealers (DAAD) which assassinated nine drug gang leaders in Belfast in the mid and late-1990s.

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“Over the years Davison had run-ins with all sorts of groups and individuals,” a police source said.

The McCartney sisters condemned Davison’s murder.

Catherine said: “Murder is wrong and can never be justified. But this man brought death and destruction into our family and into many families across Belfast.”

Robert McCartney (33) was fatally stabbed outside Magennis’s bar in Belfast in 2005.

Davison was previously quizzed about the high-profile McCartney murder, but was released without charge.

Catherine added: “Jock is obviously a loss to his family but not a loss to the community.”

Another sister, Paula McCartney, said: “We have no sympathy for Jock Davison but we do have sympathy for his family.

Read more: Fears of violence spreading as dissidents target Provos

“They are now grieving just like we grieved 10 years ago.”

The PSNI confirmed that the man they had arrested was released “unconditionally” last night, without charge.

However a different man, aged 27, was arrested late yesterday by detectives investigating the Davison murder.

Irish Independent

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