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The Vice Chairman of Northern Ireland’s policing board vows he will not resign, despite suffering a beating at the hands of dissident republicans.

By Colm Kelpie
in Derry, N.Ireland.

The Vice Chairman of Northern Ireland’s Policing Board, Denis Bradley, says he will not be resigning from his position despite having suffered a vicious attack in his home city of Derry almost four weeks ago.

Mr Bradley was speaking publicly for the first time this week since his attack, which occurred in the Brandeywell area of the city.

The physical scar was still visible on the right side of Mr Bradley’s forehead, but he seemed in good spirits as he addressed the assembled media.

“The bad news is that I’m going to live, or at least that’s what they tell me in the hospital ”, he humorously told reporters, but admitted to having little recollection of his ordeal.

“I was watching the TV and the next thing I remember was staggering around the bar with blood coming out of me.”

Mr Bradley had been watching a Derry City soccer match with his son in a local bar, in the evening of September 20, when a hooded man brandishing a baseball bat attacked him. Police believe the attacker could be as young as 16 years old.

He defiantly insisted he would not resign from his position on the Policing Board as a result of the attack, but did say he would not be putting himself forward for nomination to the board when it reconstitutes itself in April of 2006. But for now, after a period of rest, he’ll be back at his post.

“It was the only thing that came close to making me reconsider my decision not to go back onto Policing in April. It came very close to driving me in the opposite direction”, he said, but insisted there was still important work to be carried out.

“There are still no police officers who live in the city [Derry] and I think that is the big issue that really needs to be changed. That will only really begin to change when we get community support officers or their equivalent, where people live and go to work from their own homes. That really will be the transforming of policing within this community and many other communities throughout Northern Ireland. That is central to the debate in the next couple of months and I hope the Policing Board will push forward with that.”

Mr Bradley blamed dissident republicans for the attack and called on them to end their campaign. However nobody has yet been charged with the assault.