Monday, March 14, 2005

Bush's meeting with the McCartneys

Six women who challenged the IRA over a brutal killing in one of its Northern Ireland heartlands take their fight for justice to the U.S. this week as pressure mounts on the guerrillas’ political ally Sinn Fein.

“It looks like this family are going to have to campaign at the highest level,” Catherine McCartney told Reuters ahead of an expected meeting on Thursday with George W. Bush.

She is one of the sisters of Robert McCartney, a Catholic man stabbed by a gang including IRA members, who, along with the dead man’s fiancee, have been causing acute embarrassment for the IRA since the January murder.

Their visit to the United States comes as one leading Irish American politician cancelled talks with Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams and another said the IRA should disband.

“From the start we’ve said we would take this to wherever it needed to go and I’ve always been aware America has a big pull with Ireland: many Irish American groups contribute generously to parties over here,” McCartney said.

“People over there may have a romantic vision, but they are not stupid people -- if we can get to meet them and tell them our story I don’t see there’s any reason to doubt us on it.”

Catherine, 36, her sisters and Bridgeen Hagans, the dead man’s fiancee and mother of his two young children, leave on Tuesday for Washington. There, along with President Bush, they will meet senators Edward Kennedy and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Of course, I expect the MSM to not give a rip about substantial concerns with terrorist thugs in Northern Ireland, regardless of, or perhaps because this is a perfect illustration of a bipartisan commitment to stand opposed to terrorism no matter the ethnic and religious background of those who employ it.

All the same, it's absolutely proper and laudable for President Bush and Sens. Kennedy and Clinton to meet with these women and use it to call attention to and pressure on the IRA to cut the crap.