Belfast Telegraph

Organisation wheels back 12 minutes after labelling retired officers' letter 'PR stunt'

By Staff Reporter

Amnesty International accused the association representing former police officers of a "PR stunt" - but only for 12 minutes.

It comes after the Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers' Association (NIRPOA) called on the organisation to retract comments made by its Northern Ireland programme director Patrick Corrigan in which he claimed police helped those involved in the Loughinisland massacre "evade justice".

NIRPOA described the comments as "highly offensive".

It also expressed concern at Mr Corrigan highlighting how police carried guns during raids on the homes of two reporters who made a documentary about the UVF atrocity, given how police here are routinely armed.

Amnesty initially said it was not in a position to comment on the letter as it had not yet received it.

In a statement to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday afternoon the organisation gave its full support to Mr Corrigan.

"We only received the letter this morning and are concerned that the NIRPOA appear to have prioritised giving it to local media. This is nothing more than a PR stunt by the NIRPOA," it said.

However, 12 minutes later a new statement was released urging the media to "please use this version" - which omitted the claim of a PR stunt.

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