Northern Ireland news

Padraig McShane to make complaint to Police Ombudsman after arrest

Causeway Coast and Glens Independent councillor Padraig McShane is arrested in Ballycastle. Picture by Joe Gilmartin
Connla Young

SOLICITORS acting for an independent councillor arrested during a Twelfth parade are to make a complaint to the Police Ombudsman.

Padraig McShane was arrested in the Diamond area of Ballycastle during the march through the Co Antrim town on Tuesday.

Video footage shows the Causeway Coast and Glens councillor in an altercation with police officers after a verbal exchange with Dervock Young Defenders bandsmen.

Blood from an apparent head wound can be seen as he was led away in handcuffs.

A spokeswoman for the PSNI last night confirmed he was released on police bail pending further enquiries.

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It is understood Mr McShane reacted angrily following comments about a suspected loyalist arson attack on his Ballycastle home in 2014.

The councillor last night said his legal team will be examining the footage.

“We look forward to receiving the PSNI’s own video evidence.”

During the encounter, a member of the band was filmed apparently spitting in the direction of Mr McShane after a verbal exchange.

The former Sinn Fein councillor is then seen remonstrating with police officers before an altercation develops and he is arrested on the ground.

Last night his solicitor Michael Brentnall said a complaint has been forwarded to Dr Michael Maguire’s office.

“We have forwarded a number of substantial grounds of complaint to the Police Ombudsmans office in relation to the behaviour of PSNI officers during the incident which led to Mr McShane's arrest,” he said.

“Furthermore we have asked them to investigate the fact that Mr McShane was struck a number of times by PSNI officers whilst on the ground, a fact corroborated by video footage.”

The solicitor also claimed that Mr McShane was threatened and assaulted by loyalists.

The confrontation took place during a parade which had earlier attracted a protest from nationalist residents.

Mr McShane had previously voiced concern about the march, which was not classified as sensitive.

Mr Brentnall last night said that the Parades Commission refused to consider a request by nationalists submitted late on Monday to hold a protest.

“The Parades Commission need to advance their rationale for their decision to deem this parade non-contentious and why they refused to consider a late application for a protest by residents,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin assembly member Daithi McKay has called on the Parades Commission and Orange Order to take action to prevent Dervock Young Defenders from taking part in future sensitive parades.

“The provocative behaviour of some members of the band as evidenced in a number of YouTube recordings left a lot to be desired to say the least,” he said.

Mr McKay said he has made a complaint to police.

"I have reported this to the PSNI and another Dervock 'bonfire' Facebook page that used the 'KAT' slogan (Kill all taigs) immediately after the parade in Ballycastle.”

 

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