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Arlene Foster: Answers needed over differential treatment of Bobby Storey funeral

Northern Ireland First Minister reacts to the publication on an independent report of the organisation of the cremation of senior republican Bobby Storey.

Answers are needed over differential treatment of the family of senior republican Bobby Storey and other grieving families last year at a Belfast cemetery, Arlene Foster has said.

An independent report into events at Roselawn Cemetery on June 30 found that differentials in arrangements for the cremations were “avoidable, unnecessary and completely wrong”.

Mourners were allowed into the grounds for Mr Storey’s cremation, while eight other families were not allowed to stand outside the crematorium.

Belfast City Council has apologised to all the families affected, and described the differential treatment as “unacceptable”.

First Minister Arlene Foster said why there was differential treatment needs to be answered.

“There were other families who didn’t have the same treatment as the Storey family and I think that is something that needs to be answered as to why that happened,” she said.

Mrs Foster said no report “is going to take away the hurt and the pain that those families felt when they found out that they had been treated differently”.

“The rules are there for everyone and I think the hurt was that those families had been treated differently and so my thoughts are with them today,” she said.

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