The appearance on the internet of a photograph of terrorist funeral in Ardoyne has attracted considerable comment. The photograph of the tricolour draped coffin, the black beret and black gloves and the masked republican gunmen is a stark reminder of the days when the Provisional IRA staged such funerals. It is also a stark reminder, if such were needed, that extremist republican terrorists are still active in Ardoyne.
The coffin was that of Seamus McLoughlin and the incident took place on Wednesday evening at the home of his daughter Hilda in Butler Place. The following day it was claimed that shots had been fired by members of Oglaigh na hEireann. The funeral mass took place on the Thursday morning at 10.00 am.
According to newspaper reports McLoughlin was 'a native of Ardoyne' and as a member of the Provisional IRA he took part in terrorist attacks on British soldiers.
In 1974 he was living in Birmingham and was a senior officer in the Provisional IRA. He planned the Birmingham pub bombings in November 1974, in which the Provos murdered 21 innocent people. Subsequently McLoughlin, who was known as 'Belfast Jimmy', went on the run. He settled in the Irish Republic but it seems that there was never any attempt to extradite him.
Seamus McLoughlin died in Dublin earlier in the week and his body was brought north to his daughter's home in Ardoyne for burial.
It is not clear if he had a connection with any of the so-called dissident terrorist groups but clearly someone has a connection with Oglaigh na hEireann.