The Ulster Unionist Party Leader Steve Aiken OBE MLA has urged the PSNI to speak to the Sinn Fein leadership about the events surrounding the Bobby Storey funeral as a matter of urgency, following the latest revelations that they have not managed to do so almost five months after the event.
Steve Aiken OBE MLA said:
“The latest revelations about Sinn Fein’s behaviour regarding the funeral of IRA terrorist Bobby Storey on 30 June will do nothing to calm an already angry public.
“Almost five months on, the PSNI have not managed to interview the senior republicans who were very publicly breaching guidelines. This was confirmed last Friday when it was reported that the deputy First Minister had agreed to participate in a police investigation into the funeral and she said that she was ‘available to talk to them whenever they’re ready.’
“That is an incredible statement. If this was Michelle from the Falls Road or the Shankill Road, rather than a senior Sinn Fein politician, I have no doubt that a very different approach would have been taken by the police – and that is not acceptable, as equality before the law is a key democratic principle. Ordinary citizens would not be allowed to behave like this. So why are Sinn Fein politicians seemingly off limits?
“Furthermore, at the weekend it was revealed that prior to the funeral, Sinn Fein sent an email to thousands of members and supporters outlining the funeral arrangements and stating that the wake ‘would be open to the public.’
“The bottom line is that Sinn Fein breached the guidelines in place at the time, undermined the public health message in the process and seriously damaged the credibility of the Executive. Five months later, the Sinn Fein leadership are so arrogant that they continue to refuse to apologise. Michelle O’Neill is in no position to deliver a public health message while she continues to refuse to say sorry. The police should have been knocking on doors a long time ago, rather than waiting patiently for Sinn Fein to agree to talk to them.”