TD accuses PSNI of ‘failure of action’ over Belfast teen’s death

Police signalled corporate manslaughter inquiry into Noah Donohoe’s demise this month

Noah Donohoe’s disappearance prompted a big search operation, with hundreds of people from across Belfast involved. File photograph: PSNI/PA

Noah Donohoe’s disappearance prompted a big search operation, with hundreds of people from across Belfast involved. File photograph: PSNI/PA

 

A call has been made for the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs to intervene and ensure the Police Service of Northern Ireland will do everything to “get to the truth” about the death of Belfast teenager Noah Donohoe.

The 14-year-old went missing last June. And six days later his body was discovered in a storm drain in a part of the city with which he was believed to be unfamiliar.

Independent Donegal TD Thomas Pringle claimed there “appears to have been a failure of action by the police that is leaving Noah’s family in the horrific position of having to investigate this crime on their own”.

Earlier this month, however, the police announced it has launched a corporate manslaughter investigation into the teenager’s death. Investigation material has been gathered and police are working with the Health and Safety Executive and Public Prosecution Service.

A separate coroner’s investigation is ongoing into the circumstances surrounding the boy’s death, who went missing on June 21st last year.

In the Dáil Mr Pringle said the family “have identified and rebuilt Noah’s last journey by walking the route and identifying and following up on hundreds of security cameras that cover it. They have identified things the police should have done and acted on but did not. The question that has to be asked is ‘why’?”

‘Grieving mother’

The TD said “it seems clear to me . . . that the PSNI have not acted properly in this investigation”. He claimed there is proof of this inaction when Noah’s mother Fiona Donohoe “made a public call for people with phone evidence to come forward, and they did. How could the PSNI not have done this?” he asked.

“For a grieving mother to be left with no option but to . . . get further in the investigation than the police did is criminal and indefensible,” he said.

The storm drain where Noah was found is owned by the North’s Department for Infrastructure. He had cycled to the area from his home in south Belfast and, shortly before he went missing, was seen with no clothes on.

Prior to that, he was seen falling off his bike on Shore Road.

The schoolboy’s disappearance prompted a big search operation, with hundreds of people from across Belfast involved.

Mr Pringle said the family “has looked south for help and support. And that is why I am raising his case today”.

He called on the Government “and everyone who can help to do so to ensure that Fiona can grieve in peace in the knowledge that all will be done by the PSNI to investigate and get to the truth”.