Irish Republican News · October 28, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Brady report ‘a whitewash’

The sister of a Strabane republican who was found hanged while in PSNI police custody has branded a report into his death “a whitewash.”

Lorna Brady said the family were disappointed with the Police Ombudsman’s findings and would be taking civil action against the PSNI.

John Brady was found dead in a consultation room in the custody suite at Strand Road Police Station in October, 2009.

The former IRA Volunteer was arrested as he was coming to the end of a life sentence for an IRA attack in 1989 in which an RUC (now PSNI) policeman died. He was on weekend parole in Strabane when he was arrested after a complaint that he assaulted his brother-in-law.

His family refuse to believe that he would have taken his own life because he was due to be released from prison five weeks later.

Reacting to the findings of the Police Ombudsman’s Report, Ms Brady said: “We think it was a total whitewash and we didn’t get answers to our core questions.

“Who made the decision to charge John? How come the decision to charge him was already taken before he had seen his solicitor or had been interviewed?”

John Brady became a prominent republican after being released from prison under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

In 2008, he was charged with leaving a bomb under the car of a British soldier in 2002. However, the case was dropped, based on a judge’s criticism of ‘low copy number’ DNA evidence during the Omagh bomb trial.

Brady’s licence had however been revoked and despite a high profile campaign by his family and supporters to have him released from prison, he was required to serve out the remainder of his sentence. They likened his detention to internment.

Prior to his death, John Brady had said publicly that his “war was over.” He had told his family that he planned to start a new life in Donegal to avoid “further harassment by the PSNI.”

John Brady’s, brother Ben, said the PSNI were planning to bring a “trumped up charge” against his brother to keep him in prison.

Sinn Fein’s Pat Doherty said the Ombudsman’s findings had identified “damning procedural failings” at the Strand Road Station.

He said: “Apart from the failures which have been identified in the Report regarding the failure of those PSNI officers on duty to provide proper duty of care, the most glaring unanswered question remaining is why John Brady was informed that he was going to be charged before being brought for subsequent interview and then left alone in the consultation room on a total of nine occasions, for periods of up to 30 minutes at a time?

“In short, the question remains as to why the need for subsequent interviews if the decision had already been taken to charge John? What was the purpose of this further interview? The Ombudsman’s Report did not address the legality or otherwise of this course of action by the PSNI.

“It is right and proper that immediate disciplinary action is now being taken against all those PSNI officers found to be in dereliction of their duty on the day of John Brady’s death and that the Professional Standard’s Department are going to investigate the management and supervision of Strand Road PSNI Station.

“However, having discussed the Ombudsman Report findings with party colleague and Policing Board member Martina Anderson we are now seeking an urgent meeting with the PSNI Chief Constable to not only demand he take swift action in relation to all of the Report findings but also to demand a full explanation about the purpose of the subsequent interviews not addressed in the Ombudsman’s Report.”

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