PSNI officers disciplined over fire investigation

Police failed to notice “shadowy figures” in footage of arson attack on Derry GAA club

The North’s Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, was critical of the officers for not initially noticing from film footage that there had been an arson attack on the Sean Dolan club in December 2011.

The North’s Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, was critical of the officers for not initially noticing from film footage that there had been an arson attack on the Sean Dolan club in December 2011.

Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 01:00

Five PSNI officers have been disciplined following a Police Ombudsman investigation which found police failed to properly investigate a malicious fire at a GAA clubhouse in Derry.

The North’s Police Ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, was critical of the officers for not initially noticing from film footage that there had been an arson attack on the Sean Dolan club in December 2011. There was considerable damage done.

The ombudsman reported that a senior club member was told by police officers and fire service investigators that there was no sign of a forced entry. The same GAA official was told by a police officer that, after examining CCTV footage, police had decided the premises were not deliberately set on fire.

“Two members of the club collected the footage from police and said that within five minutes of looking at it they had seen ‘shadowy figures’ and a number of bright flashes from within the building,” the ombudsman’s office reported.

“They then contacted members of Sinn Féin, who arranged a meeting with senior police personnel, and together they viewed the footage. The following day police issued a fresh public statement saying they were now treating the fire as arson.”