22 April 2005

Daily Ireland

No action over cop’s gun show

A PSNI woman who brandished her weapon in public after leaving a bar in Co Antrim will not be disciplined by the force, Daily Ireland can reveal.
The PSNI has conducted an investigation into the incident which took place last month at a house near the seaside village of Cushendall.
The woman had been drinking after being told earlier that day of a threat to her life from paramilitaries.
In the early hours of the morning a row broke out at the party in the house and the PSNI woman, a Catholic who had joined the force only a week before, came downstairs with a gun behind her back.
Cushendall Sinn Féin councillor Oliver McMullan asked the Police Ombudsman’s office to investigate.
However, the Ombudsman said they did not have the authority to investigate because the PSNI woman was off-duty, although they did see a copy of the PSNI investigation.
The PSNI’s internal report concluded that no action would be taken against the woman.
Mr McMullan said it is “deeply worrying” that the PSNI woman is still serving.
“This was an outrageous incident in which a loaded gun was produced when drink was involved,” he said.
“That this woman should still be serving and that the PSNI are the only people to investigate the incident is also very worrying.
“How can we be sure that such an incident won’t happen again and what sort of message is the PSNI sending out to the community by its actions?”
Paddy Murray, a solicitor acting on behalf of Oliver McMullan, said it was regrettable that the Ombudsman’s office couldn’t investigate.
“We don’t have any faith in the PSNI investigating themselves so the conclusions of their investigation don’t mean much.
“This is obviously a very serious incident that is of concern to the wider community.
“It is regrettable that it has reached an impasse,” he said.
The PSNI woman was barred from a Cushendall pub in the wake of the incident.
She had been drinking in the bar earlier that day when she was told of the threat to her.

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