GAA BLAZE ‘cover up’ - War of words between Sinn Fein and RAAD over Dolan’s arson attack

A clip from the CCTV at Sean Dolan's GAA club at the time of the fire.  (0301JB11)

A clip from the CCTV at Sean Dolan's GAA club at the time of the fire. (0301JB11)

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The Police Ombudsman’s has yet to receive an official complaint over Sinn Fein claims of a “cover up” following an arson attack which gutted a Derry GAA club.

The Police Ombudsman’s has yet to receive an official complaint over Sinn Fein claims of a “cover up” following an arson attack which gutted a Derry GAA club.

The police were forced into an embarrassing u-turn after wrongly stating that the fire at Sean Dolan’s in the early hours of Wednesday was not suspicious. The reversal of the decision came after Sinn Fein representatives asked G District Superintendent Chris Yates to view CCTV footage which had earlier been investigated by his officers. The footage shows shadowy figures moving at a window seconds before several flashes which were later followed by flames.

Sinn Fein Assemblyman Raymond McCartney - who believes elements of the vigilante group RAAD were behind the arson attack - said the police handling of the incident fuelled concerns over the PSNI’s alleged use of “agents and agent provocateurs with immunity”. “We will be saying to the PSNI that they need to prove to us that this isn’t a cover up. Incompetence can happen in any organisation but not only is this gross incompetence but it’s impossible to believe that any person, let alone trained investigators, can say this footage isn’t suspicious.”

Sean Dolan’s treasurer Jim McDaid said the club may call in the police ombudsman to investigate the PSNI’s actions.

However, a spokesman for Al Hutchinson’s office told the ‘Sunday Journal’ last night: “We have not received any official complaint about the matter, although we are aware of the incident.”

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed that “a senior officer will review every action taken by police from the first call received about the fire, evidence taken, CCTV footage viewed and lines of inquiry followed up by the investigating officers”.

Meanwhile, in a statement from RAAD’s leadership, the vigilante group rejected the allegation that it was behind the attack on the Creggan GAA club as “scandalous and unfounded”.

“This is not the first time they [Sinn Fein] have publicly blamed us for different attacks that in time has proved that we were not involved with,” the statement added.

Click the link below to view the CCTV footage

Dolan’s footage