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Man charged in Belfast bar murder


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BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- Two men have been charged in connection with a January attack that left a 33-year-old man dead in a crowded Belfast bar.

One man, age 49, has been charged with killing Robert McCartney. A second man, age 36, is charged with the attempted murder of Brendan Devine, a friend of McCartney's, in the same incident.

The two were set to appear Saturday morning at a Belfast court.

McCartney, a forklift truck driver and father of two, was beaten and stabbed to death in a bar fight at a Belfast pub. The attack allegedly involved well-known local Irish Republican Army (IRA) figures.

The murder cast a shadow over the Northern Ireland peace process. McCartney's four sisters have campaigned in Britain, the United States and at the European Parliament in Strasbourg for his killers to be brought to justice.

Belfast police arrested the two earlier this week, saying the arrests were the result of police operations in Belfast and Birmingham, England.

McCartney's sister, Catherine McCartney, welcomed the news of those arrests, but told Britain's Press Association the family remains "cautious."

"People have been arrested before and let out. Others have walked into police stations, started at walls and said nothing," she said.

The IRA expelled three members for their role in the brutal stabbing.

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