Twice this week I found myself in the Short Strand area of East Belfast. The first time was on Saturday night when I attended the wake of murdered republican Kevin McGuigan, the second time was on Tuesday to attend his funeral.
The last time I was in Short Strand for any length of time was at the funeral of my murdered cousin Robert McCartney. Robert was murdered by the same people that murdered Kevin.
10 years later and the criminal gang behind Robert’s murder have still not been brought to justice and as recent events have shown are continuing to murder members of their own community with impunity. As the dark veil of republicanism continues to protect those who murder at will, my family, as does Kevin McGuigan’s, question how long these murdering psychopaths will be allowed to continue their reign of terror over those they once claimed to protect.
10 years ago as I stood in St Matthews chapel at the funeral of my cousin Robert there was an air of despondency and bewilderment at how this could happen to a father, brother, uncle and partner who had no reason to be murdered in such a vile and cruel manner.
Today, a decade on, there was a similar feeling of despondency – yet this time with an air of resistance. A resistance to the lies and misinformation being spun by those who fake a desire for justice. Today as his coffin left the home where he was murdered, the message from Kevin McGuigans family was that you can spread lies, misinformation and deceit – but you will not silence us. This is a family, as are Robert McCartney’s who know who murdered their loved ones.
John Kelly a founder member of the Provisional IRA posed a number of questions to republicans following Roberts murder – 10 years later I pose the same questions by quoting John Kelly.
I would ask those nationalist and republicans who have suspended their critical faculties in the pursuit of an electoral mandate, to question whether that mandate can be used to justify actions and activities that not only offends the core values of republicanism but also offends the core values of Christian society, and how does murdering the innocent “protector” of a “respected family” in the local community build an Ireland of equals?
10 years later and still no justice – Time For Truth