02 April 2006

New baby for murder campaign family


02/04/2006 - 13:16:02

A sister of murdered Belfast father-of-two Robert McCartney has given birth to a baby boy named after her dead brother, it emerged today.

Paula McCartney, who was thrust along with her four sisters and her brother’s partner Bridgeen Hagans into the international media spotlight following her brother’s murder last year, gave birth to Robert junior on Thursday.

He was born 10 days prematurely.

Details of the pregnancy were kept hidden as the family campaigned last year for justice in their brother’s case.

Robert McCartney was savagely beaten and stabbed outside a Belfast city centre bar in January last year.

Following pressure from the family, the IRA expelled three members and Sinn Féin also took action against a number of party members who were present in the bar at the time of the attack.

A friend of Robert McCartney was also stabbed during the incident.

Last month Robert’s sister Catherine and his mother Kathleen travelled to the White House and met senior US politicians including Senator Edward Kennedy in Washington to urge them to apply more pressure on Sinn Féin to help them achieve justice.

The family has been critical of Sinn Féin’s refusal to encourage republicans who were present in the bar to give information directly to the Police Service of Northern Ireland team investigating the murder.

In addition to playing a prominent role in the campaign to secure justice for Robert’s murder, Paula McCartney has been raising five other children and also pursuing a women’s studies degree at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Following threats from republicans, she and her family were forced to leave their home last October in the nationalist Short Strand.

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