Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Report into first PSNI killing gives huge cause for concern

4 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd has expressed huge concern at the number of PSNI officers recommended for disciplinary hearings that retired following the shooting dead of Neil McConville in April 2003 by the PSNI and the impact that this has had on the Police Ombudsman's investigation.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Neil McConville was the first person shot and killed by the PSNI and it is essential that we have proper openness and full accountability.

"It is a huge cause for concern that all of the officers who were recommended for disciplinary hearings have retired. This has meant that this investigation by the Ombudsman has not been able to look at all of the relevant facts or interview all of the relevant PSNI personnel. This will only undermine public confidence in the PSNI and their commitment to openness and accountability.

"I know that the family are disappointed that this has not been properly investigated. We cannot have the police killing people on our streets and thinking that they will not be made accountable for such actions. Sinn Fein will continue to fully support the family of Neil McConville and their demand for the truth about this shooting.

"The Ombudsman's report has highlighted a number of other serious issues including the two and half year delay in interview a PSNI officer who was 'on the sick', the lack of co-operation from Special Branch including evidence that some Special Branch files were deleted and that one senior Special Branch officer retired before even being questioned." ENDS

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