Twelfth disturbance: McShane to take legal action

Independent councillor Padraig McShane
Independent councillor Padraig McShane

The Independent Councillor who was arrested by police during an incident on the Twelfth in Ballycastle is to take legal action against the PSNI, it has been revealed.

Councillor Padraig McShane issued a statement on the matter stating that his legal team had forwarded a “number of substantial grounds of complaint” to the Police Ombudsman’s office in relation to the alleged behaviour of PSNI officers during the incident which led to his arrest.

Councillor McShane claims that he was spat at and threatened with assault by loyalist bandsmen while observing the parade as a public representative and has asked why PSNI officers neglected to arrest the individual band members. The councillor claimed in the statement that he was aggressively confronted and arrested when he was the victim of assaults and threats.

The statement added: “Furthermore we have asked them to investigate the fact that Mr McShane was struck a number of times by PSNI officers whilst on the ground, a fact corroborated by video footage.

“I would add however that the Parades Commission also need to advance their rationale for their decision to deem this parade non-contentious and why they refused to consider a late application for a protest by residents.”

Following the incident a number of officials have hit out at councillor McShane’s actions.

In a statement North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey called for a full investigation into the ‘disgraceful’ behaviour of Padraig McShane in Ballycastle on the Twelfth day. And Alderman John Finlay has written to the Northern Ireland Local Government Commissioner for Standards to ask her to investigate the matter.

While Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has called on the Parades Commission and the Orange Order to take action to prevent Dervock Young Defenders from taking part in sensitive parades in future.

Meanwhile, the Glens Councillor has claimed a new anti-racism group formed in Ballycastle will be responsible for submitting a detailed response to the Parades Commission on last week’s Twelfth parade.

Councillor McShane said the Group would also be tasked with challenging the alleged policing inadequacies on the day.