The PSNI has been accused of descending new depths of inhumanity after it emerged members of the force shared perverted images of a suicide victim’s body accompanied by sectarian anti-Catholic comments.
The victim’s sister revealed this week that her brother’s genitalia had been exposed in one of the photographs.
Two PSNI members moved the victim’s body around the room for pictures and a video, while they added “an exclamation bubble coming out” of her brother’s mouth “making fun of the way that he was” and making references to “taigs” [Catholics].
Even PSNI Chief Simon Byrne (pictured) was forced to admit the graphic defiling of a young suicide victim was “stomach-churning”.
The two PSNI men have been under investigation for more than three years over the allegations which date back to 2017. One of them remains suspended on full pay.
Neither the PSNI nor the Police Ombudsman have advanced the case in over five years, leading to suspicions of a cover up. The accusations also include allegations of drug abuse, drug trafficking and theft.
Sinn Fein First Minister-designate Michelle O’Neill described the allegations are “atrocious”. Speaking on RTE Radio, Ms O’Neill agreed with Mr Byrne’s comments that the incident was “absolutely harrowing”.
“My thoughts are very much with the family who have been impacted,” she said. “I couldn’t even imagine what they’re going through, I couldn’t even imagine how they feel.”
Ms O’Neill said that “a full investigation” needs to be carried out and “the fullest of action needs to be taken” against those responsible.
“People who are supposed to be upholding the law, people who are supposed to be in a position of authority and responsibility, this type of action is not befitting of anybody.
“So it’s absolutely atrocious what has happened to this family and I’m very conscious of their feelings right now.”
Speaking out on the issue, Pádraic Mac Coitir of Lasair Dhearg said, “For decades now the PSNI have strived to present a professional image as they attempt to sell themselves to the Republican community.”
He said there had been a slow drip-feed of information about the situation over a series of meetings.
“It would seem that the public relations fallout of this mess took precedence over the families needs as the family were told the matter was ‘a serious affair’ and that they ‘weren’t to discuss it’,” he said.
“At least one of the personnel involved have been suspended for several years now with full pay. During this time, the PSNI have been pushing hard with several public relations campaigns to polish up their image and supposed professionalism.”
Mr Mac Coitir added, “What sort of atmosphere must exist within this heavily armed force that allows their members to still feel comfortable to express sectarian terminology and opinions so openly within their ranks?”
“Is it that the PSNI has done little to change the bigoted and sectarian nature of the force that was fully and wholly incorporated into its ranks in 2001?
“We all now need to collectively look beyond the nice white paint on their old grey jeeps – the RUC has not gone away you know.”