04 February 2006

Campaign on Rafferty killing goes Stateside

Irish Independent

Caitriona Palmer, in Washington

THE family of Joseph Rafferty, the Dubliner allegedly murdered by republican elements, are due to arrive in New York today in advance of a series of meetings with senior US politicians to call attention to the case and to bring his killer to justice.

Beginning on Monday in Washington DC, Mr Rafferty's relatives are scheduled to meet with a series of high profile political figures including Senators Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

The family is also due to meet with several Democratic and Republican members of the US House of Representatives, senior diplomats in the State Department in charge of Ireland and Irish embassy officials.

Rafferty, a 29-year-old father of one, was shot twice by a gunman as he left his home in Clonee, West Dublin in April 2005. His family allege that his killer is a known member of the IRA and that Sinn Fein officials are protecting his identity.

This campaign follows a similar effort by the family of Robert McCartney, the 33-year-old Catholic man stabbed to death outside a Belfast bar in January 2005 by alleged members of the IRA."We're not trying to bring down Sinn Fein," said Esther Uzell, a sister of Joe Rafferty, speaking on the eve of her US visit.

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