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Murder victim Gerard 'Jock' Davison 'ordered' Robert McCartney death

 Robert McCartney

GERARD 'Jock' Davison was accused of ordering the murder of father-of-two Robert McCartney after being injured in a bloody bar fight with his friend.

The 33-year-old from the nearby Short Strand was stabbed and beaten to death outside Belfast city centre bar Magennis's on January 30 2005.

According to a book by Catherine McCartney, the victim's sister, Davison told fellow republicans to "do what you want" with her brother.

She claimed the senior IRA commander - who was shot dead in the Markets area of Belfast in May in 2015 - gave the order for the stabbing by "a finger being drawn across his throat" after being injured in the fight with Brendan Devine.

It had followed an argument between Mr Devine and Jock Davison's uncle, Terence, over what the latter's partner believed were sexual comments made about her.

Terence Davison, who was later acquitted of the subsequent murder, said the matter was "resolved amicably" with a handshake with Mr McCartney - a claim disputed by the trial judge.

A short time later, a violent clash broke out between his nephew and Mr Devine.

Jock Davison suffered a hand injury and Mr Devine was slashed across the neck with a broken bottle.

Gerard 'Jock' Davidson was shot dead in the Markets area of Belfast, a one-time Official IRA stronghold, in May 2015

According to a police statement, he was "ranting and raving" at Jock Davison from outside the bar where he had been ushered by Mr McCartney and another friend.

The Davisons claimed to have had no further involvement in the violence, including an angry pursuit down Market Street, which runs alongside the pub, and the final deadly attack which saw the friends beaten with plastic and iron sewer rods and slashed from their neck to their navel with knives.

Robert McCartney's head was stamped on and lost an eye in the beating.

"I admit that I was involved in an altercation with Brendan Devine inside the bar, but the allegation that I later made this famous hand signal is simply not true," Jock Davison said in an interview with the Sunday Life.

He and his uncle said they left the scene in a BMW before the murder to go to the Royal Victoria Hospital's A&E department where his injuries were treated.

Davison was moved to another room to make room for Robert McCartney to be treated.

The subsequent "forensic clean-up" of the scene was said to have been ordered by a senior IRA figure from the Markets.

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