14/03/2005

Loyalties preventing witnesses coming forward say McCartney family

The family of Robert McCartney have said that “party loyalties or friendships” could be preventing witnesses from coming forward.

Speaking on Monday after Sinn Fein member Cora Groogan revealed at the weekend that she was in Magennis's bar the night Mr McCartney died, but saw nothing, Catherine McCartney said: “Who else was there? Maybe they're not coming forward, maybe not due to intimidation but due to party loyalties or friendships.

"We're not saying that intimidation is not taking place, it is, but there is certainly more to this than first met the eye."

Cora Groogan, who ran for the Mid Ulster constituency in 2003, claimed on Saturday she saw nothing, although she was in the bar for about an hour.

Sinn Fein said a statement had been given to her solicitor to pass on to the police ombudsman, however, Mr McCartney's family said this was not enough and that Ms Groogan must give her statement directly to the police or the police ombudsman.

Father-of-two, Robert McCartney was stabbed to death following a “bar brawl” on January 30.

(MB/SP)

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