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Sinn Féin seeks to ensure McCartney Council Motion helps justice demand

1 March, 2005

Speaking before tonight's meeting of Belfast City Council in which the SDLP are tabling a motion on the killing of Robert McCartney demanding that people bring information to the PSNI Sinn Féin Councillor Joe O'Donnell said that his party would seek to amend the motion in order to ensure that it reflected the reality that many within the community who wish to help the family in their quest for justice simply will not come forward with information to the PSNI.

Cllr. O'Donnell said:

"Sinn Féin supports the McCartney family in their quest for truth and justice. I have repudiated this brutal killing in the strongest terms possible. And furthermore no one has any right, as has been claimed, to prevent anyone from helping the McCartney family.

"I would also wish to commend the communities in the Short Strand and Markets who have supported the McCartney family and repeat my call again for anyone with any information which can assist the family in their quest for justice and truth to bring it forward.

"As someone who lives within the republican community and have first hand experience of policing I recognise the reality that there are many within our community who for good reason do not trust the PSNI and simply will not bring forward information to them. This reality cannot be ignored by people if they are serious about delivering justice for the McCartney family.

"Indeed the PSNI themselves recognised this reality when they began the re-investigation into the loyalist killing of Sean Brown in Bellaghy. The PSNI poster itself encourages people to use a named firm of solicitors or the Pat Finucane Centre to bring forward information as an alternative to dealing directly with the PSNI. This is exactly the sort of pragmatic and realistic approach which is necessary to deliver justice in this case also.

"The motion as it stands is excluding any information which people in this category have from the search for truth and justice and therefore if this motion is passed, rather than assisting the family, would in my view set the search for justice back. If this is not the intention of the proposer then I believe that the amendment as put by Sinn Fein should be accepted." ENDS

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