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Chief Constable's 'sarcastic' tweet sparks storm on social media

By Deborah McAleese

Published 22/07/2015

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton sparked a Twitter row after he used social media to defend the policing of Peggy O'Hara's funeral.

Several critics took to Twitter to quiz the PSNI boss over why masked INLA men and women were not stopped from parading through Londonderry.

Referring to a photograph that showed the paramilitary parade with a PSNI Land Rover in the background, Mr Hamilton wrote: "Clue might be in the police Land Rover complete with evidence gathering facilities! Like we said earlier - an investigation ongoing."

His response sparked a row, with many Twitter users launching a verbal attack on the Chief Constable on social media.

"As a public servant your response is a disgrace and smacks of disdain... I asked for an explanation not an observation," one user wrote.

Another person wrote: "Apology will do for starters! Then a review of Republican show of strenghs (sic)".

"Don't be sarcastic", one annoyed Twitter user added.

Another said: "Never been so disappointed in the police in all my life, this should not happen in 2015. Shame on you."

It is understood that detectives are using facial and body recognition techniques to identify those involved in the parade after footage was gathered by officers at the scene.

A number of searches have also been carried out by officers, including outside Mrs O'Hara's home, where shots were fired over her coffin last Wednesday.

Dozens of people wearing military-style uniform, berets and dark glasses attended the funeral.

The DUP's Gary Middleton said the PSNI told him they had inadequate resources to police the funeral.

He said it should have handled the situation differently.

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