Sinn Fein councillors to meet Police Ombudsman

Sinn Fein Councillor Tony McCaul.
Sinn Fein Councillor Tony McCaul.

Two Sinn Fein councillors arrested and later released unconditionally by police investigating alleged paramilitary activity in Dungiven over the last four years are to meet with the Police Ombudsman.

Councillors Tony McCaul and Sean McGlinchey were arrested within days of each other last year.

Sinn Fein Colr. Sean McGlinchey.

Sinn Fein Colr. Sean McGlinchey.

Colr. McCaul was arrested on November 27, 2014 in an early morning raid at his Foreglen home, while Colr. McGlinchey was arrested the following Tuesday on December 2, also as police conducted searches on his Dungiven home.

Five other men were also arrested as part of the police swoop, two of which, according to Colr. McGlinchey, will also meet Dr. Michael Maguire.

Both councillors say they will voice their concerns to Dr. Maguire about the basis of their arrests, the nature of their arrests and the implications of the arrests.

“I have several concerns about my arrest,” said Colr. McGlinchey. “I offered myself up for interview but that opportunity wasn’t taken, I also have concerns about families being put out of their homes as police searches took place, which was unusual. Who knows what happened when the house was being searched.”

Colr. McCaul said he would also be making clear his concern that his wife was forced to leave their home. He said he would also ask the Ombudsman to consider the nature of his arrest and on what basis it was made.

“The PSNI said my arrest was based on intelligence. Well it must be the poorest of intelligence because I know in my heart I have done nothing wrong,” said Colr. McCaul.

Both councillors say they have worked well with local police and will continue to, but they say they fear the recent arrests may impact community relations.

Colr. McGlinchey added: “There’s no point spitting the dummy out. We need policing and we will continue to work with local police, but policing must be accountable.”