Friday, September 30, 2005


McDowell blasts SF over Rafferty murder

Sinn Fein has been accused by Justice Minister Michael McDowell of failing to cooperate fully with the investigation into the murder of Joseph Rafferty, who was shot dead outside his home at Ongar in west Dublin last April. A prime suspect for his murder is an alleged member of the IRA.

The Irish Independent reports that...

The dead man's family approached a Sinn Fein councillor to organise the lifting of death threats against Mr Rafferty.
Following his murder, the family asked Sinn Fein to help bring his killers to justice.
In a Seanad debate last night Mr McDowell described the murder as cold blooded and "a death foretold".
The Garda authorities he pointed out, believed the murder stemmed from a row between the Raffertys and another family who included Sinn Fein activists.

"There is no doubt that in the weeks immediately before the murder, explicit violent threats were made against members of the extended Rafferty family in which the name of the provosional IRA was clearly invoked," the minister added.

It was a fact that after the murder the family once again approached Sinn Fein representatives to seek their help in bringing the perpetrators to justice and had been subjected to intimidation as they sought to establish the truth.
Mr McDowell said a Sinn Fein councillor had publicly stated he would co-operate with the investigation.

"But that co-operation, at least to date, has extended to providing nothing more than an uninformative, perfunctory written statement which has done nothing to progress the murder investigation," he added.

These are very serious accusations being made by the Justice Minister. They raise three very important points that must be acknowledged.

1. The IRA are gaining a tighter stranglehold on places in the South, particularly Dublin.

2. The inextricable link that exists between Sinn Fein and the Provisional IRA has led to an Irish citizen being murdered in cold blood here in the Republic.

3. Sinn Fein have been doing their utmost to protect Mr Rafferty's killer and to hinder justice for his family.

The all-Ireland criminal enterprise is well under way it seems. Irish people should not countenance further strengthening these thugs through the ballot box.

Sinn Fein/IRA's murky and criminal dealings in the North must end. They must not be allowed to continue, nor to expand into the south of Ireland.

I commend the Justice Minister for taking the Sinners to task on this issue. Justice must be done.


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