Search icon


01st Jul 2020

Arlene Foster calls on Sinn Féin to apologise over Bobby Storey funeral

Carl Kinsella

Bobby Storey

Foster has accused her Sinn Féin counterpart of undermining public health efforts.

First Minister of the Northern Ireland Arlene Foster has called on deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill to apologise for an apparent lack of physical distancing and safety measures at the funeral of party member Bobby Storey.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, the DUP leader said: “It is quite intolerable now that people think that there are some people to whom the law doesn’t apply and that indeed there are some politicians who are saying: ‘Do as I say but not as I do’.

“That undermines everything that we have been trying to do. She needs to apologise, she needs to recognise the wrong that has been done and she absolutely needs to make amends for what has happened.”

Other DUP and SDLP party members have criticised the gathering, insisting that it sets the wrong example for the public, who are advised to avoid large gatherings and practice social distancing.

Photographs from the scene appear to show hundreds of people gathered to watch the hearse on its way to the church, as well as inside the graveyard. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have since said they will review footage from the funeral procession and determine whether any rules have been broken.

O’Neill defended the funeral in the Irish News, saying that there were only 30 people in a the funeral cortege, and that there were three people to a pew inside the church.

O’Neill herself attended the funeral, as did Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald, TD Pearse Doherty and senior figure Gerry Adams.