evidence gathered | 

Police seize number of items after funeral of INLA man Eddie 'Wheels' McGarrigle

Father-of-two McGarrigle had been in a wheelchair since 1984 after being shot and left a paraplegic

Eddie McGarrigle pictured in 2008. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

John Cassidy

A leading republican once jailed for INLA membership linked to a kidnap plot was buried yesterday amid tight security.

The coffin of Eddie ‘Wheels’ McGarrigle was carried by six men dressed in green jackets and wearing black berets in Co Tyrone.

A tricolour, a Starry Plough flag, black gloves and beret adorned the top of the 56-year-old’s coffin as the cortege made its way from his home at Melmount Gardens in Strabane to nearby St Mary’s Church for his funeral Mass.

Men dressed in white shirts, black ties and trousers formed a guard of honour along the cortege route.

He was buried afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

Coffin of IRSP and INLA member Eddie McGarrigle

There was a large police presence in Strabane for the funeral, but officers kept at a distance from the cortege and house.

A police evidence gathering team was present, supported in the air by the PSNI helicopter. The PSNI said: “In Strabane today Tuesday, April 26, police were in attendance in the Melmount Road area of the town where a funeral was being held.

“Evidence was gathered and, following the funeral, a number of items, including clothing, were seized.

“All evidence gathered will now be reviewed.’’

A father-of-two McGarrigle died at his home on Sunday, eight months after being diagnosed with cancer.

He had been in a wheelchair since 1984 after being shot and left a paraplegic.

In 2010 McGarrigle was jailed for three years at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin for INLA membership over offences dating back to 2008.

McGarrigle was jailed for nine years in Belfast in 1993 for conspiracy to murder, and was also given a suspended sentence in 2006 for unlawful possession of a firearm.

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