15 January 2006

Mob returned 'to finish Robert off'

Sunday Life

Stephen Breen
15 January 2006

Shocking new details about the brutal killing of Belfastman Robert McCartney can today be revealed for the first time.

Sunday Life has learned the 33-year-old received TWO vicious beatings before being murdered by a republican mob.

The murder victim's sisters, who have vowed to step up their campaign for justice in 2006, were only told about the development by cops on Thursday.

We can also reveal the campaigning family are set to launch a website - www.justiceforrobert.com - over the coming weeks in a bid to raise awareness about the murder.

The dad-of-two died after he was stabbed and beaten outside the now-closed Magennis' Bar on January 31, 2005.

Said Paula: "We couldn't believe it when the police told us that Robert was actually attacked twice by the mob on the night he was murdered.

"They attacked him and left him for dead and then they came back to finish him off.

"We think that if they had just left him the first time then me might be alive today."

It has also emerged police want to speak to the driver of a large blue vehicle, who is believed to have stopped at traffic lights when the 33-year-old was being attacked.

It is understood the driver may have 'revved' his engine in a bid to make the mob aware that he had witnessed the attack.

The police will make a fresh appeal for the driver to come forward on the first anniversary of the murder.

Speaking to us from her new home in south Belfast, Paula told us her family will spend Robert's anniversary reflecting on the events of the last year.

The mum-of-five also told us she is considering an offer by police for her to make a fresh appeal for information outside Magennis's.

Said Paula: "My sisters can't go anywhere near the bar because of all the bad memories it holds for us, but I am considering whether or not to stand outside on Robert's anniversary.

" I would plead with anyone who has been afraid to come forward to search their hearts and tell police what they know.

"We are determined to see more people in court for our brother's murder."

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