A MOTION to support the Noah Donohoe campaign was passed by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council last week, but the local politician who tabled the initial motion remains angry that it scraped through by only one vote.
An initial motion by Independent Cllr Eamon Keenan backed the Donohoe family’s call for Chief Constable Simon Byrne to resign over “PSNI failures under his watch and the mishandling of the investigation into Noah’s death”, demanded the PII (Public Interest Immunity) Certificate be lifted in the case, and called for all the politicians on the Policing Board to step away in protest.
An amendment later tabled by Sinn Féin Cllr Thomas O’Reilly did not seek the resignations, but called on the Northern Ireland Secretary of State to withdraw the PII.
The matter went to a vote, which came in 14 to 13 on the amended version, with five members abstaining. Although happy that the motion was passed, Cllr Keenan was upset that it wasn’t unanimous.
“Although I am happy that the amended motion was passed I am disappointed that it was amended in the first place and that it only passed by one vote,” he said.
“The ‘Justice For Noah’ campaign I thought would have been an issue that would have had the full support of all members of the council.
“If politicians cannot be united in support for truth and justice to prevail in a case where an innocent child has been found dead in very suspicious circumstances, then they need to take a long, hard look at the politics and ideologies that prevent them from supporting innocent children and their families.”
In arguing against the motion at the council meeting last week, Cllr John McClaughry of the Ulster Unionist Party, despite expressing sympathy for Noah’s family, said the presiding coroner found “nothing to suggest a cover-up in the investigation” and the motion was “a direct challenge to the independence of our judiciary”.
Cllr Keenan hoped the passed motion will help raise more awareness locally for the ‘Justice for Noah’ campaign.
“The motion was sent to all other county councils on the island of Ireland so it should raise the issue nationally as well,” he said.
The 14-year-old St Malachy’s College pupil went missing after leaving his home in June, 2020, to meet friends at Cave Hill country park in north Belfast.
His naked body was found in a storm drain six days after he disappeared. A post-mortem examination found the teenager died by drowning.
The PSNI has argued that disclosing the information, which includes details on police methodologies and source handling, would damage national security interests.
The inquest into Noah’s death is scheduled to begin on November 28 and will run for three weeks.
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