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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 June, 2005, 17:17 GMT 18:17 UK
McCartneys ask to meet Sinn Fein
Robert McCartney
Robert McCartney was stabbed outside a Belfast bar on 30 January
The family of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney have requested a meeting with Sinn Fein to discuss the party's handling of the case.

It follows the party's decision to reinstate five out of 12 of its members, suspended after the murder.

Sinn Fein said the 12 had been in or near Maginnis' bar, Belfast, when Mr McCartney was attacked on 30 January.

Four have resigned, two were expelled, and a decision on the only person still suspended will be made in due course.

Two men were charged in connection with Mr McCartney's death and remanded in custody earlier this month.

Catherine McCartney, Robert's sister, said on Sunday that an email was being sent to Sinn Fein requesting more information about the five people who had been reinstated.

"We gave specific information to Sinn Fein about members of the party and are anxious to find out who has been reinstated," she said

"The family has, therefore, requested this information and also a meeting with the party.

"We would also hope to meet other political leaders in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic and the British and Irish Governments soon to discuss Robert's case. They will be receiving requests for meetings in the coming days."

Sinn Fein said it had investigated whether those suspended members had followed party president Gerry Adams' call for party members to give witness statements.

'Made statements'

The two expelled members had refused to follow his instructions, Sinn Fein said.

"The remaining six have all made statements to the Police Ombudsman and are continuing to co-operate with her office," a spokesperson said.

"Five of these have had their suspensions lifted, with immediate effect, as they have complied with Sinn Fein's direction on this matter.

"A decision on the sixth person will be made in due course.

"Sinn Fein will continue to do all that we can to help the McCartney family."

Mr McCartney's sisters and partner have frequently met senior politicians in their campaign for justice over the killing.

They met US President George Bush at the White House in Washington in March and have also met with US special envoy to Northern Ireland, Mitchell Reiss and the Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern.


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