February 5, 2004
No punishment for IRA knife killers
by Suzanne Breen
IRA members were involved in the murder of a man outside Magenniss
bar in Belfast city-centre bar last week.
Robert McCartney (33) was fatally stabbed outside the May Street
premises following an argument inside with local Provisionals. The
murder was not an officially sanctioned operation, though republican
sources said those involved wouldn't be disciplined.
They include the operations officer of the IRA's General
Headquarters staff who is the former Belfast Brigade OC.
The IRA men from the Market and Short Strand area of Belfast were
drinking in the bar after returning from the Bloody Sunday march in
They became involved in an argument with Mr McCartney and a friend
who was also stabbed in the incident. The IRA men sent round to the
Market for reinforcements and a gun but a knife was secured instead.
Four men who were arrested in connection with the murder have since
been released. Local sources claimed the IRA ordered customers in the
bar who witnessed the fight to say nothing to police.
It is also understood the IRA seized the video footage from inside
the pub. CCTV is installed outside the court across the road but it is
unclear how much these cameras picked up.
SDLP councillor for the area, Pat McCarthy, said: "The Provos have
to get off people's backs in the Market. It is a reign of terror. They
are bringing republicanism into disrepute."