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Hyland hits out at PSNI’s ‘political policing’ arrest

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A NEWRY councillor questioned last week over the murder of former IRA man Eamon Collins is to make an official complaint to the Police Ombudsman over his "politically motivated" arrest and subsequent release.
Davy Hyland was questioned at Antrim Police Station on Tuesday and Wednesday about the murder of the 45-year-old in January 1999 murder.
He was released unconditionally on Thursday.
Mr Hyland's arrest came weeks after police announced that they had a fresh DNA profile taken from the murder scene at Doran's Hill near Barcroft.
Mr Hyland told the Democrat that a medical examination taken by police proved he had nothing to do with the murder and went on to claim his arrest was politically motivated.
He said: "The police suggested that my DNA could be linked to blood found at the murder scene. I volunteered a DNA sample which was clear and which proved I was nowhere near the scene at Doran's Hill.
“I consented to a full medical examination which showed that I had no scar wounds linking me to the attack on Eamon Collins as suggested by the police. I knew I had nothing to hide.
“The entire episode smacks of overt political policing and the police being influenced by the current OTR debacle. By this I mean you're fair game if you are not in an established, constitutional party."
In 1985 Mr Hyland was one of 40 people arrested on the word of Mr Collins, who broke during RUC interrogation.
However, the former IRA intelligence officer retracted his statements and the supergrass trial collapsed.
According to My Hyland, items removed by police from his home included a pillowcase, an empty wine bottle, two odd shoes, toothbrushes and a referee's whistle.
He claimed police failed to take a 1999 diary which detailed where he was on the day Mr Collins was murdered.
He said: "I await with great interest to see who else will be selectively chosen by PSNI and M15 in their so called search for the killers of Eamon Collins. I'm not holding my breath in their search of 'justice'."
Mr Hyland, a former Sinn Fein councillor and MLA, confirmed to the Democrat that he will be contesting the council elections in May as an independent republican candidate.
He added: "The forthcoming local elections in which I am one of many independent socialist republican candidates takes place in May. Surely this arrest isn't all that coincidental."
A police spokesperson said: "Detectives from Serious Crime Branch continue to actively pursue the persons responsible for the horrific murder of Eamon Collins in Newry 15 years ago."

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