SF enemies manipulating McCartney murder - Adams


Enemies of Sinn Féin have manipulated the Robert McCartney murder and Northern Bank raid to halt the party's progress, party president Gerry Adams claimed today.

With the republican movement in crisis over claims that IRA gangs killed the Belfast father of two and carried out the £26.5 million robbery, continued his offensive after his speech to delegates at the party's ardfheis yesterday evening.

He said: "Our opponents are exploiting both the tragic death of Robert McCartney and accusations round bank heists. Sinn Féin wasn't involved in the bank heist. Sinn Féin is not involved in criminality."

Mr McCartney's five sisters attended the party's annual conference in Dublin yesterday where Mr Adams demanded those involved to admit their guilt in a court of law. He suspended seven party members over the January 30th pub brawl killing, accepting the family's claim that witnesses have been frightened into silence.

Blaming the attack on alcohol-fuelled machoism, he called for a halt to the intimidation. "People who have information come forward, come and admit it. Be men, come forward and redeem yourselves."

Mr Adams claimed his party's electoral gains had caused its rivals to use allegations of criminality.

"If Sinn Féin wasn't being so successful there wouldn't be the ganging up that's going on," he told BBC's Breakfast with Frost. "The other parties feel threatened ... because of the growth of Sinn Féin . "Our party is now the third largest party on the island."