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Last Updated: Friday, 21 October 2005, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Sister moves house after killing
Paula McCartney
Paula McCartney is moving out of the area
A sister of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney is moving out of her home in disgust at the way her family has been treated since the killing.

Paula McCartney, who has lived in the nationalist Short Strand for 40 years, said she felt "disillusioned, disgusted and betrayed" since the murder.

Mr McCartney, 33, was stabbed to death outside a Belfast bar in January. Two men have been charged over his murder.

Paula is the last of Mr McCartney's four sisters to leave the area.

She has spent the last few days with her husband, Jim and their five children, preparing to leave an area where their family ties date back 100 years.

"We've had very happy times in this house but now it's just all been soiled," she told BBC Radio Ulster.

I am going to be leaving good friends and neighbours which saddens me
Paula McCartney

"The urge to not be here is getting stronger by the hour. The fact that there's still people allegedly involved in Robert's murder walking around, getting on with their lives here in the Short Strand, and we don't believe that we can.

"We have suffered an injustice by having our brother brutally taken from us, that's only a further injustice."

The Short Strand area has been home to five generations of the McCartney family.

However, their high-profile campaign for justice for their brother's murder brought them into conflict with the IRA and Sinn Fein in the past nine months.

Some republicans saw the campaign as treachery.

The family claimed there was an IRA campaign of intimidation against them and said republicans were trying to drive them out.

However, Paula said that even though they were moving out of the area, they were as determined as ever to continue with their justice campaign.

"We're still having to fight as strong as we fought a month after Robert died," she said.

Robert McCartney
Robert McCartney was stabbed outside a Belfast bar on 30 January

"The fact I am moving out of the Short Strand may indicate to some people defeat, it certainly isn't.

"Those people who played a part in any way in Robert's murder should be under no illusion that they will be held to account at some stage."

In September, a crowd picketed the home where Mr McCartney's partner Bridgeen Hagans and her children live.

Sinn Fein called for an end to all intimidation of the family and the party insisted no members of the IRA were involved.

Both the IRA and Sinn Fein have said they support the family's calls for justice.

In the course of the past nine months, the McCartney sisters and his partner have met senior politicians.

Their campaign has taken them from east Belfast to the White House - meeting US President George Bush in Washington in March and the Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern.

But despite their heartache since January, it was not an easy decision for Paula to leave the Short Strand.

"I am going to be leaving good friends and neighbours which saddens me," she said.

"I will always be proud to say that I come from the Short Strand."

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