Press Release 23rd February 2005
Socialist Party TD
calls for solidarity with McCartney family
Speaking in the Dail yesterday (23rd Feb) during questions to the Taoiseach, Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins called for working class people to mobilise independently against paramilitaries and demand justice for the McCartney family. The Dublin West TD met with the McCartney family in Dublin to discuss how the campaign to deliver justice can progress.
Mr Higgins called for communities in both Catholic and Protestant areas to throw the sectarians aside .
'I urge the community, in conjunction with the McCartney family, to convene its own independent mass meeting, give mass protection to the witnesses to this bestial murder, and mobilise community power to break the grip of intimidation and remove the killers from its midst by securing their trial and conviction. Those for whom the Sinn Féin leaders in Northern Ireland claim to speak should themselves speak with their own voices in mass action because it is very clear that they repudiate absolutely this type of barbarity in their communities.
Calling the murderers of Robert McCartney to account is a matter of justice for him and his family. More than this, it is a test in present circumstances of whether a working class community is allowed to live in an atmosphere where democratic, human and political rights are respected and guaranteed.
Bringing these murderers to account also challenges in a very real way the political control of Catholic working class communities by republican paramilitaries. The loyalist paramilitaries visit the same intimidation on Protestant working class communities. The reluctance to dissolve the IRA is not because a resumption of the paramilitary campaign against the British State is contemplated - that disaster ran into the sand long ago. It is retained as an enforcer for the political domination of the republican movement in the Catholic working class communities. It plays the same role as the loyalist paramilitary organisations.
I call on the real power in Northern Ireland, the salt of the earth, working class people to mobilise independently, throw the sectarians aside and in this way deliver justice for Robert McCartney and his family. This will also lay the basis for an alternative society where their real needs are met rather than being subjected to sectarian monsters.'
Other statements by Joe Higgins