Police Federation to challenge decision to suspend PSNI officer after Troubles survivor arrested

The Ombudsman’s probe into the police handling of the event is ongoing.
Police Federation to challenge decision to suspend PSNI officer after Troubles survivor arrested

The Police Federation has indicated it plans to start legal action over the suspension of an officer. Picture: PA

The Police Federation has indicated it plans to start legal action over the suspension of an officer following a controversial incident when a Troubles survivor was arrested after an atrocity commemoration.

One officer has been suspended from duty and another repositioned after angry scenes unfolded when they approached some of the attendees at an event on the Ormeau Road in Belfast last month.

The officers had attended to highlight potential coronavirus breaches in relation to the size of the gathering.

Mark Lindsay, chair of the federation, said they intend to file pre-action papers against the chief constable this week.

Federation chairman Mark Lindsay (Simon Graham/PA)

The federation contends that due process was not followed when the officer was suspended ahead of an investigation by the Police Ombudsman.

“We will submit pre-action protocol letters to the chief constable this week,” he told the BBC’s Stephen Nolan Show.

The Ombudsman’s probe into the police handling of the event is ongoing.

It was to commemorate the 1992 loyalist murder of five people at the Sean Graham bookmakers shop.

Mark Sykes, who was shot multiple times in that attack, was arrested during the commemoration.

Mr Sykes, who was detained on suspicion of disorderly behaviour and later released, has admitted swearing at an officer.

PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne apologised for how police handled the incident.

More in this section

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence