Ulster Unionist Councillor, Derek Hussey, has welcomed confirmation that, following a review, the Public Prosecution Service have reversed a previous decision not to proceed with charges in respect of a Tyrone Commemoration Committee event in Castlederg on 11th August 2013.
The Castlederg based Councillor said:
"I am pleased to have received confirmation from the Central Casework Section of the PPS that the 'Test for Prosecution' has now been met and that a summons has been issued and served on the organiser of a republican event in Castlederg on Sunday, 11th August last year.
"Since the traumatic events endured by victims in Castlederg on 11th August 2013, many have sought a review of the original decision in regard to, among other concerns, the wearing of 'paramilitary style' uniforms during this event in contradiction of a Parades Commission determination on the event. The resolute stand taken by Derg Valley Victims Voice, and their many supporters across the political divide in regard to this issue, has been justified with the outcome of this review.
West Tyrone Ulster Unionist MLA and Policing Board Member, Ross Hussey, added:
"The ridiculous situation where a clear breach of the law was allowed to pass without any attempt to sanction those responsible has at least now been rectified. The incident caused major concern to the community and, despite our continued objections, attempts were clearly made to sweep this under the carpet. Let us hope that lessons have been learned by the prosecution authorities."
Note to Editors:
This a copy of the correspondence which Cllr Derek Hussey received from the Public Prosecution Service:
Re: A review of the decision in respect of the Tyrone Commemoration Committee event in Castlederg, 11th August 2013.
PPS reference 714427
I am writing to you on behalf of the Assistant Director, Central Casework Section of the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in relation to a review of the original prosecution decision regarding the Tyrone Commemoration Committee event held in Castlederg on the 11th August 2013.
I can confirm that the review is now completed. As previously advised the review related solely to the issue of whether a criminal offence may have been committed as a result of a breach of the determination of the Parades Commission by the wearing of paramilitary style clothing. In the course of the review expert evidence was sought on the issue of whether certain clothing worn by participants could properly be described as “paramilitary style” so as to bring it within the terms of the prohibition contained within the determination. All of the available evidence, including the new evidence obtained in the course of the review, has been carefully considered and I have concluded that the Test for Prosecution is now met. Accordingly a summons has issued and been served on the organiser of the parade for an offence of failing to comply with a condition of the Parades Commission determination, contrary to section 8 of the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998).