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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
Assault gang 'will not be caught'
Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan
Nuala O'Loan's son was attacked with an iron bar
A son of the NI Police Ombudsman has said the PSNI have told him they have little chance of catching a gang who assaulted him as he walked home after a night out.

Damian O'Loan was knocked unconscious after being hit on the head with an iron bar on the Oldpark Road in north Belfast.

The 23-year-old was left with serious head injuries, a broken arm and damage to his leg after being attacked by four youths in June.

Speaking on the Nolan show on BBC Radio Ulster, Mr O'Loan said no-one had been charged in connection with the attack despite its ferocity.

"I think the attack was potentially fatal and I don't think they were taking any care not to administer a fatal attack," he said on Tuesday.

"I certainly don't think the police will catch them, they have all but told me that they are not going to catch them.


"They can wait for DNA tests from my clothes and so forth, but as the case stands and with the evidence and the information that they have at the moment, they don't have a chance of catching them."

Mr O'Loan said he believed the police lacked the resources to fully investigate the attack and others like it.

"Do the police really want to catch people like this?

"Did they go to the scene of the crime instantly when they knew the attack had happened and it was a severe attack and look for evidence - no.

"I think their resources are quite limited, but they should take these attacks more seriously."

"I don't want to make any accusations about how they handled the case, because I don't have any complaints about how they handled the case.

"I am quite happy with what the individual officers, who were from the CID, did."


As a result of the assault, Damian has been left with a two-inch scar on his face and has had to undergo hours of physiotherapy in an attempt to recover movement in his right arm.

He also suffers from dizzy spells and is yet to find out if he will be left with any permanent brain damage.

Although a motive for the attack is yet to be established by police, Mr O'Loan does not necessarily believe he was singled out because he was a Catholic in a mainly Protestant area.

He also said he did not think it had anything to do with the fact his mother, Nuala, was the Police Ombudsman.

"They may well have attacked me because they thought I was a Catholic, but I don't think they would need any great motivation for it," he said.

'Bigoted society'

"I think if I had been black or if I had been Polish they would have been quite happy to do the same thing.

"I don't think it was anything to do with my mother's job, most people wouldn't recognise me anyway. I think my mother has always had good support in this area."

Mr O'Loan has said that despite the attack he will not move out of the Ardoyne area.

"The people who did this have more problems than they left me with," he said.

"I have more of a problem with those who carry the bigoted attitudes, create a bigoted society and then somehow don't take any responsibility when young people exhibit that in the way young people do - of course there will be violence."

Detectives have appealed for anyone with information about the attack on Mr O'Loan to contact them.

Ombudsman's son injured in attack
12 Jun 06 |  Northern Ireland

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