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Police 'committed to catching killers of Paul McCauley'

By Donna Deeney

Published 08/06/2015

Paul McCauley died after a vicious attack by a gang of 15 men in 2006 left him in a vegetative state
Paul McCauley died after a vicious attack by a gang of 15 men in 2006 left him in a vegetative state

Nine years after the brutal, sectarian attack on Paul McCauley (38) by a loyalist gang, police have said they remain committed to getting justice for the McCauley family.

Only one man has been convicted in relation to the attack in July 2006 that led to Mr McCauley's death, although 15 people are believed to have been involved.

Detectives have arrested and questioned 25 other individuals about the unprovoked sectarian attack, but have met a wall of silence from within the loyalist community in Londonderry.

The lack of progress led to the Chief Constable apologising to the family last year.

As they launched what is now a murder inquiry, Detective Chief Inspector Michael Harvey, who recently took over responsibility for the investigation, paid tribute to the courage and dignity of the McCauley family.

He said: "On behalf of the entire police family, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to the McCauley family following Paul's death.

"They have conducted themselves with great dignity over the past almost nine years since the vicious attack on Paul and his friends.

"They have been a compelling voice on Paul's behalf, a voice with dignity, energy and compassion.

"Our Chief Constable said last year he was sorry that more people had not been brought to justice than the one individual who was convicted and sentenced.

"In memory of Paul, for the McCauley family and in the interests of justice, police stand ready to explore any opportunities provided either by a change in circumstances or a qualm of conscience. The investigation remains open and detectives are committed to bringing those responsible to justice."

Among those calling for justice for the family is Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan, who was a school mate of Paul's.

He said: "The McCauley family have endured a torrid nine years watching their son suffer in a manner few of us can imagine.

"Their pain has been compounded by the failure to see justice done. This may not be the time to dwell on the shortcomings of the police investigation into this incident but we must get behind the McCauley family in their campaign to see justice for Paul.

"I was at school with Paul and know what a gentle being he was. That his life has been destroyed and that those responsible are still walking the streets is very difficult to take.''

Martina Anderson MEP, who has also been supportive of the family, said: "It is almost nine years since their lives were shattered by the brutal sectarian attack.

"The fact is, up to 15 people were involved and their identities are well known in their community.

"Jim McCauley, Paul's father, often referred to the wall of silence within the unionist community.

"There is an onus on everyone, particularly elected representatives, to encourage those with information about the attack to come forward so that those responsible can be brought to justice."

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