DUBLIN, Ireland – Leaders of the IRA and its allied Sinn Fein party staged rallies Sunday across Ireland in memory of a failed 1916 rebellion – and in anger that their organizations today stand accused of covering up a Belfast killing.
At three rallies in Dublin and the two major cities in Northern Ireland, Belfast and Londonderry, Sinn Fein leaders said the killers of Robert McCartney were being cowards by refusing to admit their crime.
They emphasized that failure to bring anybody to justice for McCartney’s Jan. 30 slaying outside a Belfast pub was fueling criticism of Sinn Fein, which represents most Catholics in Northern Ireland.
McCartney’s sisters, whose campaign has gained worldwide attention, say the Irish Republican Army has intimidated witnesses while Sinn Fein has discouraged people from giving evidence to police. Detectives have charged nobody with the killing, although the attack on McCartney began inside a pub crowded with Sinn Fein and IRA members.
Sinn Fein has suspended seven people allegedly involved, while the IRA – which initially denied any involvement – says it has expelled three members. But the McCartney sisters say those supposedly expelled figures are still socializing publicly with other Sinn Fein and IRA figures in their Belfast neighborhood.
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