27 January 2006

Shot Dubliner's sisters to take case to US

Belfast Telegraph

By Sean O'Driscoll in New York
27 January 2006

Two sisters of a Dublin man allegedly killed by the IRA are to take their case to US politicians, following the example set last year by the McCartney sisters.

Esther Uzell, whose brother Joseph Rafferty was murdered last April, is hoping to attract some of the worldwide publicity raised at the White House last St Patrick's Day by the sisters of Robert McCartney, who was murdered by the IRA in a Belfast bar.

Uzell is to travel to New York and Washington with her sister, Sandra, and her brother-in-law, Bart Little, to meet with Senators Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and John McCain as well as the US envoy to Northern Ireland, Mitchell Reiss.

The family have not yet heard a response to their request to meet with President Bush.

As with the McCartney sisters, the Raffertys want to put pressure on the IRA and Sinn Fein to co-operate with police investigations into their brother's murder.

In this case, they argue that there is no internal ban on republicans co-operating with the Garda, as there is with the PSNI.

The Rafferty families say that the McCartney sisters would never get justice unless they had taken their campaign to the media and they hoped to do the same.

Rafferty, a 29-year-old father of one, was shot dead last April in west Dublin. He had been involved in a dispute with a Dublin family and had allegedly been threatened with a IRA shooting during arguments.

The family say they are also preparing a lawsuit against the alleged IRA gunman responsible.

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