Northern Ireland

Robert McCartney murder: 51-year-old man questioned

Mr McCartney was stabbed outside Magennis's bar in Belfast
Image caption Mr McCartney was stabbed outside Magennis's bar in Belfast

A 51-year-old man from County Armagh has been arrested in connection to inquiries linked to the murder of Robert McCartney in 2005.

He has been taken to Antrim police station for questioning, and a property in Jonesborough was searched by police.

Mr McCartney, 33, a father-of-two from the Short Strand in Belfast, was stabbed to death outside a bar.

The murder had major repercussions for Sinn Féin at the time, as it faced accusations of obstructing justice.

It came as it was involved in delicate political negotiations aimed at securing its support for the police.

Within hours of Mr McCartney's death, it was claimed that IRA members had been involved following a fight - a claim rejected by Sinn Féin.

Robert McCartney's family accused republicans of covering up what happened, and threatening witnesses. His sisters accused Sinn Féin and the IRA of obstructing efforts to bring their brother's killers to justice.

They mounted a high-profile campaign that took them from the streets of the working class nationalist Short Strand to the White House, and to Sinn Féin's annual conference in Dublin.

The IRA expelled three members over the murder and Sinn Féin subsequently suspended seven of its members.

In 2008, Terence Davison, 51, was acquitted of Mr McCartney's murder and two other men were cleared of charges connected to the killing.