Saturday, 18 July 2015

Dissident republican funeral (2)

INLA paramilitary funeral

The first stage of the funeral of dissident republican Peggy O'Hara took place on Wednesday.  It involved masked men and women in paramilitary uniforms marching through the centre of Londonderry. Then outside her home masked men appeared from the crowd and one of them fired shots over the coffin from a rifle.  This was all done in broad daylight.
 
There was strong condemnation of these paramilitary displays from both Gregory Campbell MP and Gary Middleton MLA and there were calls for appropriate and effective action by the PSNI.

The second stage of the funeral took place this morning with the requiem mass at St Columba's Roman Catholic Church, Long Tower, after which the coffin was taken to the city cemetery.  

Once again the funeral cortege was a paramilitary display  with forty-five masked men and women in paramilitary uniforms.  Meanwhile, according to one newspaper report, 'police kept a discreet distance throughout the funeral.'
 
This will feed into the meeting next week between the DUP and senior police officers at PSNI headquarters and also into the DUP meeting with the local PSNI in Londonderry but it raises other questions, because there are some who have yet to speak.
 
St Columba's, Long Tower
One video clip on the internet shows the masked men and women marching away from what appears to be St Columba's Roman Catholic Church.  Presumably they took up position beside and behind the coffin as it left the church. 

A republican paramilitary display of this nature and scale outside a Roman Catholic Church surely requires some comment from the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
 
 This is an issue which cannot be ignored by the Roman Catholic Church.  Moreover it is an issue which will be on the agenda of the Policing Board as the body tasked with holding the PSNI to account.
 
 
 

1 comment:

  1. Whenever the band in Belfast played a hymn outside of the RC church, it was all over the media. Why are they not camping outside this RC church in Londonderry asking for answers from the RC leadership? It appears that Republicans now control the courts, the police and the media. We need action from all the Unionist political parties, not just words at the time of the event. You have asked the PSNI some very valid questions. Please keep up the pressure on them. The reality is that there is no justice for members of the PUL community - band members get jailed for not following to the letter, all of the Parades Commission rulings. Yet Republicans bring illegal guns onto the street and parade in terrorist uniforms without any action.

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