A NUMBER of republicans who deliberately flouted COVID-19 restrictions to attend Provo chief Bobby Storey’s funeral are to be interviewed by police.

In a statement, police said those suspected of breaking the regulations have now been invited for interview.

Those who attended the funeral for Storey, who died after a battle with cancer, included Sinn Fein’s president Mary Lou McDonald and deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill.

The massive crowd which lined the Andersonstown Road in west Belfast and the large IRA send off for Storey angered many people who had also laid loved ones to rest during the pandemic but had abided by the strict regulations covering funerals laid down by the Stormont Executive.

It cause a huge rift at the Executive and brought to an end Stormont Coronavirus briefings by Ms O’Neill and First Minister Arlene Foster for 73 days.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Webster of Cumbria Constabulary was appointed to oversee and direct the PSNI investigation of the potential breaches of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Regulations) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020 at the funeral of Storey in Belfast on  June 30, 2020.

Updating on the progress of the investigation DCC Mark Webster said:

“Today an initial number of letters were issued to individuals who were identified as having been present on 30th June in potential breach of the Health Protection Regulations.

“The letters are inviting these individuals to participate in a voluntary interview with investigating officers at a local police station.

“Upon receipt of a letter individuals will have fourteen days to respond should they wish to take part in an interview.

“As this matter remains a live investigation there will be no further commentary at this time”.

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