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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 March 2006, 16:28 GMT
US senator in McCartney 'tribute'
Robert McCartney
Robert McCartney was stabbed outside a bar on 30 January 2005
A senior US politician has paid tribute to the family of murdered 33-year-old Belfast man Robert McCartney.

Senator Edward Kennedy met Mr McCartney's mother, aunt and sister in Washington on Wednesday.

Senator Kennedy, who described them as "profiles in courage", said they would break the silence over his murder in Belfast on January 2005.

Mr McCartney's mother, Kathleen, said she believed the senator wanted to see her son's killers brought to justice.

"He was very supportive and he is genuine about this, he would like to see something done to catch Robert's murderers," she said.

"He said he would see what he could do and put it to (Sinn Fein leader) Gerry Adams when he meets him."

Senator Kennedy described the McCartney murder as a "defining issue" and paid tribute to the women who had "persevered in the face of intimidation and harassment".

'Expelled three men'

Robert McCartney's murder led to a campaign by his family to bring his killers to justice.

Their campaign has already taken them from east Belfast to the White House - meeting US President George Bush in Washington last March, as well as Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Mr McCartney's family claim they have been intimidated by the IRA.

The IRA claimed it had expelled three of its men over the attack, and offered to shoot those responsible.

Sinn Fein also said it had suspended 12 members and urged all witnesses to tell the authorities what they saw.

Two men have been charged over his murder.

Meanwhile, the BBC earlier reported that Senator Ted Kennedy supported the ban on Sinn Fein fundraising in America.

In fact, Senator Kennedy said that he did not support the position taken by President Bush and that he believed Sinn Fein should be allowed to fund raise.




SEE ALSO:
McCartney 'killer plans US move'
22 Dec 05 |  Northern Ireland
McCartney family in Blair meeting
20 Dec 05 |  Northern Ireland
McCartneys 'not going to be used'
04 Nov 05 |  Northern Ireland
McCartney sisters refuse accolade
03 Nov 05 |  Northern Ireland
McCartneys ask to meet Sinn Fein
19 Jun 05 |  Northern Ireland



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