The police Ombudsman has found no evidence of police misconduct in the arrests of two Sinn Fein councillors, during a high profile police operation into paramilitary activity in Dungiven.
Former Limavady Mayor, cllr Sean McGlinchey and his colleague cllr Tony McCaul were arrested within days of each other in late November and December, 2014.
Both councillors, who serve on the Causeway Coast and Borough Glens Council, were released unconditionally.
A spokesperson for the Office of the Police Ombudsman said: “The Office received complaints about the behaviour of the police during two arrests made in late November and early December 2014. Our investigation found no evidence of police misconduct.”
Colr. Sean McGlinchey said: “I never really expected any other result, but what has happened will not deter me in continuing with the work I do with the local police. After my name was bandied about to others who had been arrested, I made it clear I was available to police for questioning yet the PSNI chose to put a heavy police presence on my house and family, and with that the media. What has happened makes a mockery of the whole situation because as recently as two weeks ago, police advised people to come and see me over an issue. It’s a joke.”
Colr. Tony McCaul said: “No one has produced one piece of evidence to suggest the arrests were justified or lawful. I have yet to see this evidence that I was involved in any paramilitary activity whatsoever. I’m not happy with the way this has been dealt with. I feel it’s just a white wash, a complete shambles.”
Solicitor, Ruairi Muldoon of MacDermott, McGurk & Partners said regarding his clients Sean McGlinchey and Tony McCaul: “My clients fully accept the police have a responsibility to preserve law and order and has worked hard to improve community relations between the people of Dungiven and the PSNI. However, in arresting them without any evidence whatsoever, my clients feel the PSNI failed in their obligation to carry out their functions in co-operation with, and with the aim of securing the support of the local community. We’re disappointed in the outcome of the police Ombudsman’s investigation and at this stage are consulting with our client’s with view to bringing a civil action in respect of this matter.”