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Suspension of party members lifted

18 June, 2005

A spokesperson for Sinn Féin has confirmed that the party has lifted its suspension on 5 of the 6 party members still suspended following the murder in January of Robert McCartney.

The spokesperson said:

"Following the murder of Robert McCartney Sinn Féin made very clear our determination to help the McCartney family. The Party President called on everyone with information to make it available. We have worked hard on the ground to create the climate in which this can happen. Witnesses have come forward and made statements, some through their solicitors, some through the Police Ombudsman and some directly to the PSNI.

At the time of the incident twelve members of Sinn Féin were in Maginnis‚ bar or its vicinity.The Ard Comhairle followed party procedure to establish whether all of these members had followed Gerry Adams‚ direction. Through this process all twelve were suspended, without prejudice.

Of these twelve, four resigned and two were expelled for refusing to follow this instruction.The remaining six have all made statements to the Police Ombudsman and are continuing to co-operate with her office. Five of these have had their suspensions lifted, with immediate effect, as they have complied with Sinn Féin's direction on this matter. A decision on the sixth person will be made in due course.

Sinn Féin will continue to do all that we can to help the McCartney family. In addition we have, as a result of our examination of these events, initiated a comprehensive review of the party in that area with particular reference to proper party practices, communication and accountability." ENDS

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