Bandsmen to be interviewed over alleged assault

POLICE in Ballycastle are expected to interview bandsmen about an incident in town on the Twelfth when a local reisdent was allegedly assaulted.

Sinn Fein representative, Cara McShane, claimed in a statement this week that a young Catholic man was beaten to the ground by a number of bandsmen on their return from the platform field and has alleged that police did not intervene.

Inspector Bryan Hume, who was on duty during the day, confirmed that an alleged attack on a young peron was being investigated and that a number of bandsmen would be interviewed.

He added that any allegations of police officers not intervening would be reported to the police Ombudsman.

Councillor McShane said the alleged attack took place at the end of the demonstration at Novally Road where she claimed that a number of members of Dervock Young Defenders came off their bus to launch an attack on the young man, punching and kicing him on the ground. She said that a flagpole was used.

Separately, Cllr. McShane said the fact that bands deliberately played both ‘The Sash’ and ‘Billy Boys’ outside the Diamond reflected the fact that many participants in the parade were only interested in intimidating Catholics living in the town. Their behaviour, she added, was totally unacceptable.

North Antrim MLA, Daithi McKay, revealed that Sinn Fein planned to meet with the PSNI to raise the incident as well as bringing the issue to the attention of the Policing Board.

He made a number of allegations about police officers who were at the scene of the alleged assault and said there was a need for the PSNI to ensure that members of the public had confidence in local policing.