FIONA Donohoe and her family have expressed their gratitude to Derry City and Strabane District Council members for backing a call asking the Police Ombudsman to look into the handling of the PSNI investigation into her son’s death.
Noah Donohoe went missing on June 21, after six days of searching his naked body was found in a storm drain in north Belfast.
A post-mortem examination found he died as a result of drowning. However the family have since mounted a campaign calling for more clarity around the investigation as they believe many questions remain unanswered.
On Thursday, independent councillor Raymond Barr asked his council colleagues to support the Donohoe family in their quest.
He explained, “This mother needs answers, she needs closure. She wants to know what happened to her 14-year-old child. But the family are being met with a wall of silence, they have been presented with theories and scenarios that are not evidence.
“80,000 people have signed up to a social media page in support of the family, they all want to know what happened to Noah.
Contrary to what the coroner has said this also makes the case a matter of public interest,” he added.
“The family just want the truth of what happened to Noah, regardless of what that truth is. The PSNI should have nothing to fear from this investigation by the Police Ombudsman.”
His motion received unanimous support in the chamber.
Later commenting on the show of solidarity Cllr Barr said, “What made this really significant is that my motion was carried on a majority with full cross party support.
“I feel this result is a great boost for the family’s campaign for answers as to what happened to Noah.
“Noah’s mum Fiona and his aunts are delighted with the result, and Fiona asked me to pass on her sincere thanks and gratitude to the councillors who united to push this motion through.
“Personally, I think this result could give the campaign for answers renewed momentum. I appeal to any councillors out there who are empathic to the family’s situation to take this fight to their council – let’s get all our councils united in demanding answers. This will bring hopefully some crumb of comfort and closure to a mother who is suffering this nightmare situation. Her strength is amazing and her family so supportive, not to mention the 80,000 plus who have signed up to Noah’s page.”
Seconding Raymond Barr’s motion the SDLP councillor Jason Barr pledged his party’s full support.
Sinn Fein’s Michaela Boyle urged anyone in north Belfast or anywhere else who has information which could help the investigation to bring it forward to police. She added, “Strabane stood by Fiona’s side in their support for the family by putting up billboards and posters in their quest for the truth. Now we (the council) can do what we can in showing our support to the family and helping them in getting the truth behind what happened to Noah.
Independent councillor Paul Gallagher added, “I think everyone knows this case has many, many discrepancies.
“The Donohoe family deserve answers and the only way we will get that is through an investigation.”
Posted: 12:32 pm October 3, 2020