23 September 2005

Bradley out of hospital as PSNI hunts for thug

The Irish News Online

By Seamus McKinney

Policing Board vice-chairman Denis Bradley was released yesterday from Derry’s Altnagelvin Hospital, two days after being attacked in a bar in the town.

Mr Bradley suffered serious injuries to his head and face when he was beaten with a wooden bat while watching Derry City’s League Cup win at Mailey’s Bar in the city’s Brandywell area.

Police believe dissident republicans were responsible for the attack.

Witnesses said a man, whose face was covered with a scarf, walked into the bar and struck Mr Bradley twice on the head with the bat while he watched the game with his 17-year-old son.

The attack provoked outrage, with politicians from across the political divide joining Church figures in condemning those responsible.

On a visit to Derry yesterday, PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde said he would take a personal interest in the search for Mr Bradley’s attacker.

“Denis has made a huge contribution to policing and the police agenda and getting a very effective police service for the whole communities across Northern Ireland through his work on the Policing Board,” he said.

“The sad bit is these people still exist who are determined to wreck everything that Denis has achieved, communities have achieved, police have achieved. They’re going to get nowhere.

“They run in – they’re brave people wearing hoods, covered up – armed with a large bat, hit a 61-year-old man and run away and hide. That sums up exactly what I think of them. I think they are beneath contempt.”

Sir Huge said people were now engaging with police and the world had left those responsible for the attack behind.

While in Derry, Sir Hugh also toured interface areas and met residents of the city’s Protestant Fountain estate, as well as a delegation from the SDLP.

A spokeswoman for the Policing Board said Mr Bradley was released from Altnagelvin Hospital yesterday afternoon.

She said his family had requested privacy to allow him to recover from his injuries.

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