All grieving families ‘have the right to truth’

All grieving families ‘have the right to truth’
Irish News, Andersontown News, 9 November 2000
Statement from the Family of Joseph O Connor

WE condemn the ongoing intimidation of Anthony McIntyre and Carrie Twomey by mobs led by Sinn Fein.

Carrie, six months pregnant, has spent the past three days in the RVH Maternity following the latest act of intimidation at her home.

The intimidators’ claim to the Irish News that they only picketed her home because Mr McIntyre had refused to talk to them is a blantant lie.

The first attempt to confront him was through an intimidatory picket.

He was never asked to talk.

Let us set the record straight before Sinn Fein warps it out of existence.

Our family sent for Anthony McIntyre after Joseph was killed.

We knew he was the editor of a republican magazine which sought to promote freedom of expression.

We believed he would speak honestly at a difficult time.

This difficulty was compounded by a Sinn Fein councillor falsely posing as a family friend who could stand on the street and talk to the media but not to us.

Mr McIntyre had endangered no-one.

He asked only that those witnesses who spoke to him – of which there were many – should state the organisation they believed to be responsible. He made it quite clear that he would not participate in a name-gathering exercise.

The life of Joseph was as valuable as any other life.

The right to truth in this case is as fundamental as the right to truth in other cases such as the late Pat Finucane and our loved one Francisco Notaratonio.

We demand justice for all of them.

Does Sinn Fein really think that we would differentiate between our lost loved ones and demand the truth only about Francisco and not about Joseph?

So much for parity of esteem and equality.

When left high and dry by those for whom we have voted over the years to represent us, Anthony McIntyre gave a voice to the voiceless.

Like ourselves, he has stood firm in the face of murder and intimidation.

Sinn Fein intimidators are not interested in finding out the truth, only in ensuring that it does not come to light.

Has the Sinn Fein mob leader ever approached this family to ask?

The sole purpose of their intimidation is to find out exactly what the evidence is against the Provisional IRA so that intimidation can be employed against those willing to participate in an impartial inquiry.

Anthony McIntyre was approached by many people. They spoke to him on the basis that their identities and evidence would not be disclosed outside of an impartial inquiry.

We remain absolutely certain that he will not breach this confidentiality and expose anyone to threat. One life lost due to Provisional IRA intimidation was a life too many.

Mr McIntyre or no-one else should divulge anything outside of an impartial inquiry and provide them with an opportunity to take another life.

The intimidators at his home have said that they want the evidence.

If true, let them back the call for an impartial inquiry. What have they to fear from that?


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