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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 February, 2005, 14:28 GMT
McCartney family meets minister
Robert McCartney, 33, was murdered in Belfast city centre
Robert McCartney, 33, was killed near Belfast city centre
The family of a Belfast murder victim have met the Irish foreign minister in a bid to win support for their campaign to bring his killers to justice.

Robert McCartney, 33, was stabbed in the city centre on 30 January.

Dermot Ahern said the Irish government fully supported the family.

"I can understand why people with jaundiced eyes might say this is being used for a political purpose but I can assure you from our point of view it is not," he said.

"We will raise this case at every opportunity with the people who we think are relevant to raise it with, just as we have done with the cases of Pat Finucane and others."

Paula McCartney said her family were pleased with the outcome of the Dublin meeting.

"We wanted to know that we had the support of the Irish government in our quest for justice and after meeting with them we now can go home content in the knowledge that they are supporting us," she said.

The McCartney family also intend to hold talks with Enda Kenny, the leader of the main opposition party, Fine Gael in Belfast on Wednesday.

Speaking in the Dail, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said that a test of Sinn Fein's stated opposition to criminality would be to turn in the killers.

No-one has been charged in connection with the killing, although it is believed there were up to 70 witnesses to the crime.

The McCartney family has accused republicans of pressurising witnesses not to talk to the police, although they have welcomed an IRA statement urging Robert's killers to take responsibility for their actions.

After meeting the family in Belfast, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said the IRA's approach to the killing would be an "acid test" of the sincerity of the republican movement.

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21 Feb 05 |  Northern Ireland
Family welcomes IRA death stance
17 Feb 05 |  Northern Ireland

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