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IRA funeral Sinn Fein welcome report on cremation of Bobby Storey

Report said there was no political interference from Sinn Fein at Rosleawn Crematorium

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The funeral of Bobby Storey created a political controversy in Northern Ireland (Liam McBurney/PA)

The funeral of Bobby Storey created a political controversy in Northern Ireland (Liam McBurney/PA)

The funeral of Bobby Storey created a political controversy in Northern Ireland (Liam McBurney/PA)

A report into the cremation of prominent republican Bobby Storey has concluded that there was no political interference from Sinn Fein at a service in Roselawn Crematorium during his funeral.

The independent report also concluded that Belfast City Council chief executive Suzanne Wylie did not fall under the influence of Sinn Fein at the time.

IRA man Storey was cremated on June 30 last year.

Up to 30 mourners were allowed into the crematorium to pay their respects to the deceased. The news caused public outrage at the time since other families were only allowed to leave their deceased family members at the gates of the cemetery due to coronavirus restrictions.

The report also found that Belfast City Council's director of city and neighbourhood services' decision to allow up to 30 mourners into the crematorium was based on the context of "managing potential issues if numbers arrived and demands for access were made".

Speaking after the release of the report, Sinn Fein's council leader, Ciaran Beattie, said: "First and foremost, I want to acknowledge the grief and suffering of all the families involved and all of those who have lost loved ones during this pandemic.

"In this report, Peter Coll has made it clear that there was no political interference at Roselawn crematorium or in the operation of the council’s policy at the facility and I welcome that.

"There was a lot of misinformation put into the public domain which only added to the hurt and grief of all the families involved and that has been addressed in this report."

He added: "I understand and acknowledge that this was an extremely difficult issue for council staff and workers to deal with in the face of the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic and hopefully the publication of this report will address the concerns raised.

"All of the families involved, including the Storey family, were put through more grief and trauma by the controversy created around this and I hope that with the publication of this report their questions will be answered, and they can now grieve in peace."

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