The Irish Suspect Protection Program
There is huge media attention on Tuesday's revelation from the IRA that it "was prepared to shoot the people directly involved in the killing of Robert McCartney," who had the misfortune of getting embroiled in a dispute with some IRA goons in a Belfast pub. The newspapers seem captivated by the vigilante justice angle, and politicians have fallen over each other to criticise the same aspect. He's a relevant link on Slugger O'Toole (also check out the adjacent posts & main page), and here's Wednesday's New York Times take.
In the apparent consensus that the admission is a PR debacle for the IRA, revealing how out of touch they are with public opinion, having been already on the ropes for the Northern Bank job, we want to just float an alternative possibility. If one was among the actual perpetrators of the killing, and it has now been announced to the world that the IRA had considered shooting you, what are the options at this point? Maybe, going to the police, telling them everything, and being put in jail. Which is what the McCartneys have told the IRA, and everyone else, they want to see happen. It might be worth waiting a few days to see what shakes loose in the legal process before deciding that the gunmen don't do nuance.
UPDATE: New movement in the criminal investigation, via RTE:
Police in Northern Ireland have arrested a man in connection with the murder of Belfast father-of-two Robert McCartney.
Police said the man was arrested on suspicion of murder. He was detained after going to a Belfast police station, accompanied by his solicitor.
FURTHER UPDATE 10 March. Suspect released "pending further enquiries."