McCartneys consider Omagh-style civil suit

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The Independent Online

The family of murdered Belfast Catholic Robert McCartney are considering a civil action against his killers similar to the case against people accused of the Omagh bomb.

The family of murdered Belfast Catholic Robert McCartney are considering a civil action against his killers similar to the case against people accused of the Omagh bomb.

As the Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, branded those responsible for the murder cowards, Catherine McCartney, one of the victim's sisters, confirmed that they were exploring whether a civil action could be taken if it proved impossible to bring his killers to justice.

"We are looking - if we cannot get those who killed my brother into court on criminal charges - at the possibility of a legal action similar to the Omagh families' civil action," she said. "It is one avenue we want to explore with lawyers and we will be seeking legal advice. However, our principal focus at the moment is on getting those responsible into court."

Robert McCartney, 30, a forklift driver, was stabbed and beaten outside a Belfast bar on 30 January and a friend, Brendan Devine was seriously wounded after a row with republicans.

The murder has placed the republican movement under pressure on both sides of the Atlantic, with the victim's five sisters and partner accusing IRA members of carrying out the attack and covering up what happened.

Despite the expulsion by the IRA of three of its members and repeated calls from Mr Adams for witnesses to come forward, police investigating the brutal attack have encountered a wall of silence.

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