A PROTEST is set to take place at Belfast City Hall next weekend after the new Secretary of State signed an order blocking the release of vital information about the death of Noah Donohoe.

The body of the 14-year-old St Malachy's College pupil was found in a storm drain in North Belfast in June 2020 six days after he went missing.

One of new Secretary of State Shailesh Vara’s first acts after taking office was signing a Public Interest Immunity (PII) certificate limiting the release of files on the death of Noah.

Under the PII process, material will be made available in limited form to interested parties at a preliminary inquest hearing. It will then be up to the Coroner to rule on whether or not immunity status should be granted. A PII certificate is usually applied for in cases involving national security and/or informants.

The Donohoe family say they were given official notice by the NIO on July 27 that the PII had been signed off and that the certificate was received by the PSNI and Crown Solicitors Office on July 19.

A full inquest hearing into Noah's death is set to take place in November.

Next Saturday, the Donohoe family are inviting the public to join them at 1pm at Belfast City Hall to protest against the "indefensible" signing of the PII Certificate by the Chief Constable, Simon Byrne, and the Secretary of State, Shailesh Vara MP.

Noah's aunt, Niamh Donohoe, said: "This legislation is a gagging of vital information which should be disclosed fully in order to uncover the truth of what happened to our beautiful Noah that fateful day.

"We demand that this process be halted and these signatures revoked.

"The final say on PII now lies with the Coroner Mr Joe McCrisken.

"Join Fiona, myself and a few key speakers and stand in solidarity with us against this abhorrent abuse of power.

"Be Noah's voice. Give Fiona the truth. We need to fight against this PII and fight for the safety of all our children. We need you all on the streets now more than ever."

This week, a large protest took place outside the police station in Strabane, home town of Noah's mother Fiona.

Local Councillor Paul Gallagher said: "The people of Strabane are demanding that the PII certificate is revoked and full disclosure of all files are given.

"The Secretary of State doesn't care about the people of Strabane but Strabane cares about its people."