Raymond McCartney

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Raymond McCartney
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Foyle
Assumed office
15 July 2004
Preceded by Mary Nelis
Personal details
Born (1954-11-29) 29 November 1954 (age 64) [1]
Derry, Northern Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Sinn Féin
Spouse(s) Rose
Children Conchúr
Alma mater University of Ulster
Website Sinn Féin profile

Raymond McCartney (born 29 November 1954) is a Sinn Féin politician,[2] and a former hunger striker and volunteer of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA).

He was born in Derry.

IRA membership

McCartney took part in the civil rights march in Derry on 30 January 1972, an event widely known as Bloody Sunday.[3] His cousin, Jim Wray, was shot and killed by the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment on that march, and as a result of this McCartney joined the Provisional IRA several months later.[4] On 12 January 1979 at Belfast Crown Court McCartney and another man, Eamonn MacDermott, were convicted of the murder of Detective Constable Patrick McNulty of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, 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 businessman Jeffery Agate in February 1977, and was sentenced to life imprisonment.[5] These convictions were overturned in 2007.


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 McFeely, Sean McKenna, Leo Green, and Irish National Liberation Army member John Nixon.[6] McCartney spent 53 days on hunger strike, from 27 October to 18 December.[7] From 1989 to 1991 he was Officer Commanding of the IRA prisoners in the H Blocks, and was released in 1994.[8]

Freedom and reversal of convictions

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.[9] McCartney was arrested on 4 April 2002 following a breach of security at Belfast's police headquarters, but released without charge the next day.[10] Later that year on 5 September McCartney was the first former IRA member to appear before the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, and encouraged anyone with information, including paramilitaries, to come forward.[11] McCartney has been the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Foyle since 15 July 2004, when he replaced Mary Nelis.[12]

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.[13] Notwithstanding the normal expectation of compensation for a wrongful conviction and wrongful imprisonment, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland declined to compensate McCartney and McDermott on the grounds that they had not proven themselves innocent. The decision was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom which in May 2011 found in favour of the applicants, opening the way for a substantial compensation claim from both for their prison terms of 15 and 17 years.[14]


  1. http://aims.niassembly.gov.uk/mlas/details.aspx?&aff=2452&per=155&sel=1&ind=11&prv=1
  2. "BBC News - Sinn Fein criticise police raid on Derry mayor 's home". BBC News. BBC News. Retrieved August 26, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Taylor, Peter (1997). Provos The IRA & Sinn Féin. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 121–122. ISBN 0-7475-3818-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Taylor, Peter (1997). Provos The IRA & Sinn Féin. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 126–127. ISBN 0-7475-3818-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Boris Worrall (20 January 2006). "Commission refers murder convictions of Raymond McCartney and Eamonn MacDermott for appeal". Criminal Cases Review Commission. Retrieved 2007-02-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. English, Robert (2004). Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA. Pan Books. p. 193. ISBN 0-330-49388-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Taylor, Peter (1997). Provos The IRA & Sinn Féin. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 232–234. ISBN 0-7475-3818-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. English, Robert (2004). Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA. Pan Books. p. 228. ISBN 0-330-49388-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Raymond McCartney". Strategem. Retrieved 2010-07-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Security breach inquiry: Three released". BBC News. 5 April 2002. Retrieved 2007-02-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Rosie Cowan (6 September 2002). "Former IRA man recalls shootings". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-02-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Northern Ireland Assembly Election - 26 November 2003". Northern Ireland Assembly. Retrieved 2007-02-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Murder convictions ruled unsafe". BBC News. 15 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Irish Times report of Supreme Court case. Retrieved 13 May 2011.

External links

Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Mary Nelis
MLA for Foyle
2004 -
Succeeded by