Tuesday 25 October 2016

'Think twice about voting for SF', says sister of murder victim

Sinn Fein election hopeful Chris Andrews (Caroline Quinn)
Sinn Fein election hopeful Chris Andrews (Caroline Quinn)

The sister of an innocent Dublin man murdered by the IRA has urged people to think twice before voting for Sinn Fein.

Esther Uzell - the sister of slain Joseph Rafferty - has called on the party to go to gardai with information on her brother's killer, rather than just urging others to do so.

Mr Rafferty (29) was shot dead by a lone gunman outside his home in the Hayward apartment complex in Ongar Park in west Dublin on April 12, 2005.


After his murder, Mr Rafferty's family contacted Chris Andrews - then a Fianna Fail TD - to help them in their bid for justice.

Mr Andrews attended a number of high-level briefings about the investigation with Ms Uzell and gardai. He also campaigned on their behalf.

Mr Andrews resigned from Fianna Fail in 2012 after it emerged he was behind a bizarre anonymous Twitter account that posted messages criticising his party colleagues.

He joined Sinn Fein a year later - a move that Ms Uzell said made her feel "double-crossed".

She has now urged people to think twice about voting for Sinn Fein, accusing them of not revealing the identity of the man behind her brother's death.

"Sinn Fein say that if anyone knows anything about Joseph's death they should go to the gardai, but it is Sinn Fein that know all the answers - so it is them that should go to the gardai.

"They are the ones with the answers. There is nothing they don't know about the people responsible for Joseph's death. Let them come forward and tell gardai," she told the Herald.

"Only Gerry Adams can help me now, by going to the gardai. Sinn Fein have to abide by the law of the land," she added.

Mr Andrews is Sinn Fein's General Election candidate in the Dublin Bay South constituency, where he had worked for nearly 16 years with Fianna Fail.

Father-of-one Mr Rafferty had his life threatened several times by a well-known Provo and Sinn Fein election worker before he was shot dead by a lone gunman.

Before his killing his family had approached Sinn Fein in an effort to have the threats against him lifted.

Detectives investigating the case believe the killer watched Mr Rafferty for two weeks before he dressed as a construction worker, drew a sawn-off shotgun, and shot him once in the leg and then in the chest at point-blank range.

Mr Andrews has conceded the suspect may be associated with "people within Sinn Fein", but denied that the killer was a member of the party.


"Both I and Sinn Fein have consistently called on anyone with information on the murder of Joseph Rafferty to pass this information on to the gardai," he said.

"I remain committed to working to ensure the killers of Joseph Rafferty are brought to justice," he added.

He claimed Ms Uzell's criticisms were politically motivated by "people who are afraid of Sinn Fein doing well in this election".

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