Masked men parade as mother of hunger striker is buried
Published 20/07/2015 | 07:22
Northern Ireland unionists have reacted with fury after dozens of republican terrorists marched through the streets of Derry yesterday for the funeral of Peggy O'Hara.
Pictures posted on social media (see video below) show the massed ranks of men and women in paramilitary garb parading through the city at the head of the funeral cortege for the veteran republican.
East Derry DUP MLA Gregory Campbell said the PSNI need to be held to account over the how they police republican funerals.
Police confirmed on Sunday that they are investigating the wearing of paramilitary uniforms during the funeral procession yesterday and the firing of shots over Mrs O'Hara's coffin last week.
Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan said: “This morning’s searches follow a number of recent incidents linked to the wake and funeral of Peggy O’Hara.
Honoured to attend Peggy O'Hara's funeral Mass this morning.Masked men parading after did little to respect the memory of such a good woman.— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) July 18, 2015
"A number of items have been seized and police enquiries are ongoing.”
“The police, at a senior level, have very serious questions to answer regarding not just this one event but the sequence of events," Mr Campbell told Sunday Life.
“This comes 48 hours after the arrival at her home of the late Peggy O'Hara's coffin where not only were there masked terrorists but a volley of shots were fired.
“The police would have been well aware that there was the likelihood of a paramilitary display at the funeral, the arrangements for which they would have been well aware of.
“People have now seen that armed terrorists on some occasions and fully masked terrorists on other occasions can flaunt the law, break the law and the police simply don't turn up.”
He added: “If they fail to act on this it could well have serious implications for future policing operations across the community."
Mrs O'Hara was the mother of INLA hunger striker Patsy O'Hara who died at the age of 23 after 61 days on hunger strike in the Maze Prison in 1981 while serving an eight year sentence for possession of a hand grenade.
The dissident republican display in Derry comes just a day after the large loyalist paramilitary funeral for murdered UDA chief Colin "Bap" Lindsay.
Lindsay died after he was attacked with a samurai sword at a house in the Belvoir Estate in south Belfast on July 8.
SDLP MLA for south Belfast, Claire Hanna, tweeted: "Militarised UDA funeral yesterday, INLA today. Throwbacks playing dress up have no place at all in normal society. 'Leave the stage' losers".