Irish Republican News · October 10, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Sectarian attack mirrors Hamill killing

Community representatives have condemned the PSNI for failing to intervene during a sectarian attack on two Catholic men in Portadown, County Armagh.

The men had to be treated in hospital for facial injuries after being set upon by up to 30 people at Woodhouse Street in the town early on Sunday.

A spokesman for the Garvaghy Road Residents Association said security camera footage of the incident has been sent to the Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan’s office.

The spokesman said PSNI members watched the attack take place and waited until the ambulance had arrived before intervening.

The attack happened near the spot where local Catholic man Robert Hamill was kicked to death by a mob of 30 men in the early hours of 27 April 27 1997. In that incident, which is to be the subject of a judicial inquiry, a PSNI unit notoriously failed to intervene to prevent the murder.

SDLP assembly member Delores Kelly said that the response of the police needed to be investigated thoroughly.

Meanwhile, PSNI Chief Hugh Orde has been challenged to explain why 45 members of the force have been allowed to escape punishment for a range of criminal offences - including downloading child pornography - by taking early retirement.

The Policing Board has been told that 45 PSNI members have been allowed to retire on full pension despite pffences include assault, unauthorised discharging of weapons, loss of a firearm, theft, drink-driving, fraud and paedophilia.

Sinn Fein Policing Board member Martina Anderson said the PSNI members involved have been allowed to evade investigation or prosecution.

“It also a concern that, by taking early retirement, these officers are not obliged to co-operate with any Police Ombudsman investigation,” she said.

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© 2007 Irish Republican News