McCartneys' intimidation claims rejected
East Belfast residents involved in an exchange of words with the
McCartney family on Wednesday afternoon have dismissed media reports
that a dozen people were involved.
Reports in yesterday's media said a dozen republicans surrounded the
McCartney sisters as they handed out leaflets appealing for information
about their brother's murder.
Robert McCartney was killed in a knife-fight outside a Belfast city
centre bar on 30 January following a row with republicans. The
Provisional IRA expelled three members and seven Sinn Fein members were
suspended over the incident.
Paula McCartney said a crowd gathered and "screamed abuse" at
yesterday as they handed out leaflets.
She also said one of the crowd had threatened to put her out of the area
and senior republicans were among the crowd.
However, Short Strand resident Mary King, who was involved in the
incident, said only four people were involved - herself, her sister and
"These reports are completely false," she said.
"The only people there was me, my sister and two kids. My sister
handed a leaflet by the McCartneys and she let it drop to the ground,
is her choice.
"As soon as that happened the McCartneys started shouting abuse and
of them behaved really aggressively. They were shouting and swearing at
us and then my son came and told us to leave it.
"I couldn't believe it when I read there was a dozen people there
that threats had been made. Words were exchanged for sure, but that was
it and it came from both sides."
Paula McCartney said a dozen peopple had been involved and one woman
"warned us that we were not to go round doors delivering leaflets
are going to be put out of the area... I replied 'Murderers'. I couldn't
Sinn Fein councillor Joe O'Donnell described the incident as an
altercation but said he would "condemn all those involved in
"I spoke to members of the McCartney family who said they had been
abused, and residents who...said they had been abused and threatened by
the McCartney family," he said.
"In all of this, local residents' privacy needs to be respected and
McCartney family are entitled to distribute leaflets if they believe it
will help issues surrounding their brother's murder."
Criticism of the McCartney family has grown in the republican enclave
their campaign has become politicised and increasingly aligned with the
election campaign of the SDLP party. The family has admitted receiving
assistance from the SDLP's local Westminster election candidate and
funds channelled through the Labour Party in the 26 Counties.
Meanwhile, posters supporting one of those arrested over the killing
have appeared in homes in the area.
Photographs of Gerard 'Jock' Davison with slogans including "I believe
Jock" now front windows of several homes.
During a recent newspaper interview, Davison said he himself had been
stabbed in the incident and described himself as "a victim of