Statement on the Police Ombudsman Report on Sean Hegarty

12 September 2017

Speaking about the Police Ombudsman’s Report in relation to how the PSNI dealt with Sean Hegarty who was found guilty of the murders of Caron Smyth and Finbar McGrillen, Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly said:

“This is a tragic and heartbreaking case and it’s important to acknowledge the pain of the families of Caron Smyth and Finbar McGrillen as they listen to the detail of how the police failed to protect their loved ones.  The public have the right to expect the police to protect them and keep them safe.  However, it is clear that, in this case, some police officers have fallen short of expectations and it is entirely appropriate that action has been taken.

The Ombudsman’s report is shocking, disappointing and makes very difficult reading.  Yet it is essential in highlighting where police officers have gone wrong – and to ensure that officers are in the best position to deal with any similar situations which may arise in the future.

I have sought assurances from the Chief Constable that all recommendations from the Ombudsman’s Report would be met and requested that he report back to the Board on their implementation.”


For further information please contact the Board’s Communications Office on 07801 738795

Notes to editors

The Report can be found on the Police Ombudsman’s website.