McCauley family’s frustration seven years on

Derry man Paul McCauley, who was attacked in 2006. (1207MM20)
Derry man Paul McCauley, who was attacked in 2006. (1207MM20)

The father of a Derry man left in a vegetative state after a sectarian attack seven years ago has spoken of his frustration that those responsible for attacking his son have not been brought to justice.

Prehen man Paul McCauley was attacked by a sectarian gang while attending a barbeque with friends in the Chapel Road area on August 16, 2006 and has been in a vegetative state ever since.

Up to 15 people were involved in the attack and the attackers made off in the direction of the loyalist Irish Street estate.

The Independent Monitoring Commission, a body set up to monitor paramilitary activity, later said the UDA was responsible for the attack.

To date, only one person has been charged and convicted in connection with the incident.

Jim McCauley, Paul’s father, said the family’s sense of frustration grows each year.

“Seven years on and still no one has been convicted of the attempted murder of Paul and his friends,” he said.

In the past, Mr McCauley has been critical of the lack of progress in the PSNI’s investigation into the attack, criticism which led to the start of a fresh probe and the appointment of a new investigating team.

“The first investigation was disappointing but we are hopeful that the slow but positive developments of the new investigation will lead to people being brought before the courts.

“We appreciate the upgrade in the investigation but it does not lessen the frustration that we are still in the same position seven years on,” he said.

He said it is also frustrating that those responsible for the attack are still being protected by elements of the unionist community in Derry. “I appreciate the frustration of the police at the lack of communication from the community who are still sheltering those responsible. Even after appeals from unionist politicians there is still a level of community protection for these people.

“Elements in the Fountain community are fond of saying that they are still under siege; we as a family are still under siege because of the wall of silence that protects those responsible,” he said.