Tuesday, November 22, 2005

McCartney sisters allege "smear campaign"

Sean O'Driscoll:

Repulicans are using a "smear campaign" to distort the McCartney sisters' message to Irish Americans, one of the sisters has said at the end of a week-long visit to Washington.

Catherine McCartney, who travelled with her sisters last week to meet with US politicians, including senators Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy, said that many Irish Americans were living in the past and looked at the IRA too favourably.

She said that there was a "whispering campaign" against the sisters in the United States that was trying to link their campaign on behalf of their brother to pro-British political causes.

"Irish Americans are getting the belief that we're not just looking for justice, that we are looking for something more than that. That's why we're going to have to do more to educate people in the US," she said.

She added that she had used her own credit card to pay for her and her sisters to travel to the US and that they would have to chip in to pay the bill.

"We need to get it through to people that the IRA of the 1980s and the early 1990s no longer exists and that Ireland has changed very much," she said.

She said that she has the strong feeling that pro-IRA republicans were doing their best to discredit her family's campaign.

"We see a smear campaign on the Internet and trying to say that we are putting Robert's murder in a much wider political context, which we're not. This is about the abuse of power by IRA members, it's not about the freedom of Ireland," she said.

Senator Clinton has called on those with information on Robert's killing to come forward to the police.

"Robert's killers must be brought to justice and I urge everyone to co-operate with the authorities to find those responsible," she said.

The only people engaged in a smear campaign are the McCartney sisters themselves. The murder of Robert McCarney was unjust but it was the actions of a few individuals. The McCartney sisters have been trying to make it look like the entire Irish republican movement killed their brother even though the Provisional IRA has told them the names of the men involved in the murder and even offered to execute the perpetrators. As for their claim that "Ireland has changed very much" where is the evidence of this change? Have the loyalists gone away? No. Has anti-Catholic discrimination been ended? No. Are the unionists willing to work with the elected representatives of the Irish Catholic population as equals? No. The reason why people have been accusing the McCartney sisters of engaging in pro-British propaganda is because that is precisely what these women are doing.


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