Memorial to fallen police officers returned to original position

Memorials to RUC and PSNI officers killed in the line of duty, at Strand Road PSNI station in Londonderry, had been moved to an area shared with photocopiers

Memorials to RUC and PSNI officers killed in the line of duty, at Strand Road PSNI station in Londonderry, had been moved to an area shared with photocopiers

A memorial for murdered police officers which was removed from a prominent position within a Londonderry police station has been returned to its original location.

Relatives of the officers were among the many people who complained after the commander at Strand Road placed the three marble plaques in an area used for photocopying.

A PSNI spokesperson told the Londonderry Sentinel that “the memorials have been returned to their original position.”

The row erupted in February when it emerged that Superintendent Mark McEwan had taken his decision without consultation.

In an internal memo to staff seen by the News Letter, Supt McEwan appeared to explain that the plaque was moved so it would no longer be seen by the general public.

He said: “As the front inquiry office is still utilised by members of the public, the memorials have been moved to a new memorial area located outside the constables’ briefing room on the third floor.”

At the time, the Police Federation (PFNI) said: “Sadly, there was no consultation which is why there is such annoyance and disappointment.”

In February, following pleas from bereaved relatives and unionist politicians, Supt McEwan said: “I understand the re-positioning of these memorials may have offended some people however it was never my intention to cause any distress or hurt and I wholeheartedly apologise for any distress this may have caused.

“My intention...was to have an appropriate place which would afford officers and staff additional privacy to remember our RUC and PSNI colleagues who have sadly lost their lives.”

A rededication service is expected to take place in due course.