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Ó Donnghaile questions timing of release of Ombudsman's response

26 June, 2015 - by Mairead O’Donnell

Sinn Féin councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile has questioned the timing of the publication of a Police Ombudsman's response into PSNI handling of an Orange Order parade near the Short Strand area in July 2013. 

Councillor Ó Donnghaile said; 

"I would seriously question the timing of the publication of this report and the highly irresponsible nature with which media outlets have reported it.

"I can say without fear of contradiction that republicans, including senior Sinn Féin figures, played no role other than to try to quell any disorder. The Ombudsmans letter to the Orange Order, dated February 2015, does not even mention republicans.

"It has also been reported that attacks on the parade came from the grounds of St Matthew's Church when the Ombudsman clearly acknowledged there is no CCTV footage which shows anyone in the grounds. 

"While the PSNI have apologised to the Orange Order because of what they now accept were poor operational decisions, they must apologise to residents of Strand Walk and St Matthew's Court whose homes were attacked and damaged in the same incident. 

"Any violent incident at the interface is wrong, has a destabilising impact on both residents and wider community, regardless of their background, and anyone responsible for these incidents should be held accountable before the courts. 

"We have a number of serious concerns about this report and will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Police Ombudsman to discuss those concerns." 

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