PSNI refer GAA blaze probe to Ombudsman

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness visiting Sean Dolan's GAC yesterday with, from left, are Hugh Wilkinson, chairperson, Jim McDaid, treasurer, Raymond McCartney MLA and Deputy Mayor Kevin Campbell. (3012PG71)

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness visiting Sean Dolan's GAC yesterday with, from left, are Hugh Wilkinson, chairperson, Jim McDaid, treasurer, Raymond McCartney MLA and Deputy Mayor Kevin Campbell. (3012PG71)

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The Police Ombudsman is to examine the PSNI’s investigation into a fire at the Sean Dolan’s GAA clubhouse in Derry last week.

Police were forced into an embarrassing u-turn after initially stating that the blaze at Sean Dolan’s in Creggan during the early hours of last Wednesday was not suspicious.

Raymond McCartney, MLA, Martina Anderson, MLA and Colr. Kevin Campbell at the press conference in Rathmore re the alleged arson attack on Sean Dolan's GAA club.  (0301JB10)

Raymond McCartney, MLA, Martina Anderson, MLA and Colr. Kevin Campbell at the press conference in Rathmore re the alleged arson attack on Sean Dolan's GAA club. (0301JB10)

The reversal of the decision came after Sinn Fein representatives asked G District Superintendent Chris Yates to view CCTV footage which had been in the possession of his officers. The footage shows shadowy figures moving at a window seconds before several flashes which were later followed by flames.

Now the PSNI have confirmed that following a review into the initial investigation, District Commander Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin has referred the matter to the office of the Police Ombudsman who will carry out an independent examination of police actions.

The PSNI have been severely criticised by Sinn Fein in Derry over their handling of the blaze investigation and senior party figures have accused dissident republicans of burning the clubhouse.