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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 September 2005, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Ombudsman is asked to probe riot
The Police Ombudsman is to be asked to investigate trouble involving police officers and residents in Cushendall.

Officers were surrounded by a crowd of up to 50 people as they tried to make an arrest in the Bridge Street area.

Three officers were hurt during the incident and CS spray was used as they escaped from the angry crowd.

Sinn Fein councillor Oliver McMullan, who owns a bar in the County Antrim village, has accused officers of being heavy-handed. Police have denied this.

He alleged that he was hit with batons and sprayed with CS gas during the disturbance which took place shortly after midnight on Sunday.

He has called for the Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan, to investigate what happened and also claimed children were caught up in the violence.

"I had one young boy of 14 who was on his way to get chips when he was sprayed in the face with CS gas, now that is quite serious," he said.

"We need to get this whole thing investigated, I would like to know what this attempted arrest was all about."

When police officers move in to deal with an issue of law and order they are turned upon in this vicious way
Mervyn Storey
DUP

However, DUP assembly member Mervyn Storey said cuts to police resources were to blame for the trouble.

He said despite all the "concessions that have been given to republicans on the issue of policing" they were "still not satisfied".

"When police officers move in to deal with an issue of law and order they are turned upon in this vicious way," he said.

"The other issue that is gravely concerning me... is the fact that the police had not the adequate resources to be able to deal with the situation and we have officers that now have been injured as a result of this."

A PSNI spokesman denied officers were heavy-handed but said anyone with complaints should contact the Police Ombudsman.

One of the three officers hurt in the attack was treated in hospital for cuts, bruises and a suspected broken nose.

A man arrested following the trouble is being questioned about assault and public order offences.

Meanwhile, in a separate disturbance in west Belfast, police were attacked by 40 people in Andersonstown at about 0200 BST on Sunday.

They had been called to the area to investigate reports of men armed with baseball bats near South Link.

Police also used CS spray in this incident.

An officer who was hurt in the trouble received hospital treatment for a suspected broken wrist after being punched and kicked to the ground.

One man is being held by police in connection with the trouble.




SEE ALSO:
Officers injured in crowd attacks
04 Sep 05 |  Northern Ireland


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