Northern Ireland

Co Antrim independent councillor Padraig McShane to face charges over Twelfth

Padraig McShane after his arrest in Ballycastle in July
Padraig McShane after his arrest in Ballycastle in July Padraig McShane after his arrest in Ballycastle in July

AN independent Co Antrim councillor is facing several charges arising out of an altercation with police on the Twelfth.

Causeway Coast and Glens councillor Padraig McShane has been charged with assault on police, resisting police, organising/taking part in an un-notified protest meeting and engaging in a provocative act in Ballycastle in July.

News of the charges come just weeks after the High Court in Belfast quashed a previous conviction.

Mr McShane was arrested in the Diamond area of Ballycastle during an Orange Order march through the seaside town on July 12 after an altecation with PSNI officers and a verbal exchange with members of a loyalist band, Dervock Young Defenders.

Video footage captured at the time showed blood from an apparent head wound as Mr McShane was led away in handcuffs.

The councillor was found guilty last year of threatening a TUV councillor's husband with a water bottle during a meeting in December 2012.

However, the conviction was overturned in the High Court after a challenge centring on a failure of the Public Prosecution Service to disclose to defence solicitors a caution previously given to Stephen McKillop, the man he was accused of assaulting.

His solicitor Michael Brentnall last night said he has written to the director of public prosecutions Barra McGrory asking for an investigation into how the case was handled and revealed that Mr McShane intends to sue the PPS.

He also said the councillor intends to fight the most recent allegations.

“My client will be vigorously contesting this charge and has made a complaint to the Police Ombudsman’s Office in relation to the conduct of police officers during this incident and the investigative process,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the PSNI said Mr McShane will appear in court next month.