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Gerry Adams statement on Robert McCartney case

3 March, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams speaking today said:

"I am deeply angry about the alleged involvement of a number of republicans in the killing of Robert McCartney. I believe that I am speaking for the broad republican constituency in publicly articulating my outrage and anger at what has happened. All of those involved in this horrific incident must make themselves fully accountable for their actions. Nothing short of this is acceptable. I have made clear my support for the family in their search for justice and have called upon those involved in the killing and others with information about the killing to bring this information forward.

As part of these efforts to assist in the search for truth and justice I met the family of Robert McCartney a number of times. At a meeting on Thursday 24th February the family gave me a list of people who they allege were involved. As party President I immediately instructed the leadership of Sinn Fein in Belfast to establish if any of those named by the family were members of Sinn Féin. I was informed that seven of those named are members of Sinn Féin. All were immediately suspended from the party. This is on a without prejudice basis.

As a political party Sinn Fein is not in a position to carry out an investigation which would adequately establish the facts surrounding the killing of Robert McCartney but those named by the family are suspended from membership and from any involvement in Sinn Fein activity pending the outcome of the legal process. If any of these seven are found to have been involved in the events surrounding the death of Robert McCartney, or if they do not provide truthful accounts at this time as the McCartney family have requested, Sinn Féin will take further internal disciplinary action to expel these individuals.

All of these people have been personally instructed to provide full and frank statements. I reiterate that anyone with any information should make this available to the courts.I have given this statement to the family and to a solicitor.

Although I stress that Sinn Féin has no basis to make any allegations against any of these suspended members at this time, and some or all may be innocent of any offence, I have instructed the solicitor to pass the names given to me by the McCartney family to the Police Ombudsman." ENDS

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