Arrested republican councillor released

Independent councillor Padraig McShane
Independent councillor Padraig McShane

Independent councillor Padraig McShane from Ballycastle, who had been arrested after an alleged altercation with a band in the town on Tuesday, has been released on police bail.

The Co Antrim councillor was detained during the home leg of an Orange Order Twelfth parade.

He was arrested after an alleged incident with band members in the Diamond area of Ballycastle.

Videos of the incident appeared on social media - but clearer footage of the incident was later removed.

A PSNI spokesman said: “A man arrested in the Diamond area of Ballycastle on Tuesday 12th July has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.”

Mr McShane told the News Letter said he would be referring the matter to the Police Ombudsman.

He also said he was considering legal action.

The incident – involving the Dervock Young Defenders band – was captured on camera from a number of angles and several video clips have appeared online.

Mr McShane can be seen being wrestled to the ground by police, and being placed in a police vehicle soon afterwards.

Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay said: “The provocative behaviour of some members of the band as evidenced in a number of YouTube recordings left a lot to be desired to say the least.”

In a statement he called for the Parades Commission and the Orange Order to take action to prevent Dervock Young Defenders from taking part in sensitive parades in future.

“The last thing anyone wanted in Ballycastle was trouble of any sort,” he said.

“That requires positive responsible leadership from everyone. However we also need to show a no tolerance approach to attempts to raise tensions and promote sectarianism.”

In a message posted on the Dervock band’s Facebook page, they posed a question regarding Cllr McShane to the people of Ballycastle: “Is this man, showing such a bizarre and extreme form of antagonism (towards people playing flutes and drums, mind you), really the kind of man you want representing your interests?”