Raymond McCartney

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Person.png Raymond McCartney WebsiteRdf-icon.png
(politician, hunger striker)

Raymond McCartney is a Sinn Féin politician, and a former hunger striker and volunteer within the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA).

IRA membership

McCartney took part in the civil rights march in Derry on 30 January 1972, an event widely known as Bloody Sunday.[1] His cousin, Jim Wray, was shot and killed by the 1st Battalion of the British Parachute Regiment, and as a result of this McCartney joined the IRA several months later.[2] On 12 January 1979 at Belfast Crown Court McCartney and another man, Eamonn MacDermott, were convicted of the murder of Detective Constable Patrick McNulty, who was shot several times outside a garage in Derry on 27 January 1977. McCartney was also convicted of IRA membership and the murder of Jeffrey Agate in February 1977, and was sentenced to life imprisonment.[3]


McCartney was involved in the blanket and dirty protests, then took part in the 1980 hunger strike, along with fellow IRA members Brendan Hughes, Tommy McKearney, Tom McFeeley, Sean McKenna, Leo Green, and Irish National Liberation Army member John Nixon.[4] McCartney spent 53 days on hunger strike, from 27 October to 18 December.[1] From 1989 to 1991 he was Officer Commanding of the IRA prisoners in the H Blocks, and was released in 1994.[1]


Since his release he has been active with ex-prisoners' groups Tar Abhaile and Coiste na n-Íarchimí, and was the first member of Sinn Féin to have their own voice heard on television after the lifting of the broadcasting ban in 1994.[5] McCartney was arrested on 4 April 2002 following a breach of security at Belfast's police headquarters, but released without charge the next day.[6] Later that year on 5 September McCartney was the first former IRA member to appear before the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, and encouraged anyone, including paramilitaries, with information to come forward.[7] McCartney has been the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Foyle since 15 July 2004, when he replaced Mary Nelis.[8] On 15 February 2007 McCartney and MacDermott had their murder convictions quashed by the Court of Appeal, following an investigation by the Criminal Cases Review Commission in 2002.[9]


  1. a b c "Provos The IRA & Sinn Féin", Peter Taylor, Bloomsbury Publishing, 1997, pp.121–122, p.228, p.232-234 ISBN = 0-7475-3818-2
  2. Ibid., pp. 126-127.
  3. Commission refers murder convictions of Raymond McCartney and Eamonn MacDermott for appeal, Boris Worrall , Criminal Cases Review Commission, 20 January 2006, Accessed 2007-02-21.
  4. "Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA", Robert English, Pan Books 2004, pp. 193, ISBN 0-330-49388-4
  5. Foyle, Strategem. Accessed 2007-02-21
  6. Security breach inquiry: Three released BBC News 5 April 2002, Accessed 2007-02-21.
  7. Former IRA man recalls shootings Rosie Cowan, The Guardian 6 September 2002, Accessed 2007-02-21.
  8. Northern Ireland Assembly Election 26 November 2003, Northern Ireland Assembly. Accessed 2007-02-21.
  9. Murder convictions ruled unsafe BBC News, 15 February 2007. Accessed 2007-02-21.

External links

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