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Questions raised over PSNI's 'effectiveness of evidence gathering' after shots fired in tribute to son of INLA leader McGlinchey

By Cate McCurry and Donna Deeney

Published 05/11/2015

Gunmen firing shots in Bellaghy in tribute to Declan McGlinchey
Gunmen firing shots in Bellaghy in tribute to Declan McGlinchey
Masked men surrounding McGlinchey’s coffin
Yesterday’s funeral procession
Bernadette McAliskey among the mourners
Senior republican Eddie Copeland carrying the coffin
Declan McGlinchey
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.
Funeral of leading Republican Declan McGlinchey in his home town of Bellaghy. McGlinchey who's parents Dominic and Mary were both killed during the troubles died a home of a suspected heart attack at his home in Bellaghy.

Questions have been raised over the PSNI's "effectiveness of evidence gathering" following a paramilitary tribute to veteran republican Declan McGlinchey which saw masked men fire shots in a show of strength.

At least three armed men were photographed firing handguns after the son of the INLA leader died on Sunday sparking Unionist anger.

The coffin of the republican was also flanked by at least nine people wearing balaclavas at his Bellaghy home in south Co Londonderry before yesterday's funeral.

Prior to the funeral DUP Policing Board Member Jonathan Craig said he spoke to the PSNI about the necessity for "proper evidence gathering procedures" given the "likelihood of an "illegal paramilitary presence".

The Lagan Valley MLA said: "Over the last number of months repeated incidents have been highlighted to the PSNI of paramilitary displays at the funerals of well-known republicans.

"The disparity with how such events have been policed compared to other events when high-profile evidence gathering operations have been put in place to prosecute people for playing musical instruments.

"With the precedent of paramilitary displays at other republican funerals and questions being raised even before this funeral it is now for the police to demonstrate their ability to compile a case against those involved in the illegal activity at this event.

"I will be raising the case again at the Policing Board to monitor progress and I know that many people will want a demonstration that those who put on a mask and paramilitary uniform do not effectively make themselves immune from prosecution.”

Mr Craig has furthered calls from fellow DUP member Jeffrey Donald who called for the PSNI to review its approach to handling paramilitary funerals and was critical of the police response to the incident. He said this latest paramilitary act was a "blatant and ugly display of terrorism" at a funeral.

The Lagan Valley MP said: "We need to be very clear and firm as to how we respond to this kind of intimidatory and violent display.

Billy Wright ,loyalist fanatic who was shot dead in the Maze Prison, was leader of the renegade Loyalist Volunteer Force
Billy Wright ,loyalist fanatic who was shot dead in the Maze Prison, was leader of the renegade Loyalist Volunteer Force
Declan McGlinchey (right) at age 11 with brother Dominic (9) at the funeral of their mother
Scenes from the funeral of Peggy O’Hara in Derry on Saturday with up to 100 masked paramilitaries on show
PACEMAKER BELFAST 20/2/08. Gerry Adams carries the body of former hunger striker and leading republican Brendan Hughes as his remains are taken from their family home in west Belfast this morning. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker
Colum Eastwood (front left) carries the coffin of former Derry republican Seamus ‘Chang’ Coyle
Pacemaker Press 17/7/2015 The Funeral of veteran loyalist Colin 'Bap' Lindsay takes place at Belvoir Church of Ireland on Friday. He was murdered in a attackin at his home in the Kirkistown Walk area of South Belfast
Shooting of Mrs Mary McGlinchey in her Dundalk home in front of her two children Declan and Dominic, nobody claimed responsibility for the attack although it seems to be part of an ongoing internal INLA feud. She is the wife of INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey. Picture of her body being removed from house. Pacemaker Press Intl. 31/1/87 72/87/BWC
THE FUNERAL OF LOYALIST VOLINTEER LEADER BILLY WRIGHT MAKES ITS WAY THROUGH PORTADOWN. WRIGHT WAS SHOT DEAD BY AN INLA INMATE AT THE MAZE PRISON ON SATURDAY
PACEMAKER BELFAST Archive 13/2/1994 Dominic McGlincheys two sons Dominic Jnr (left) and Declan (right) carry their fathers coffin at his funeral in Bellaghy
The body of Mrs Mary McGlinchey being removed from Dundalk hospital to be taken North to her fathers home near Toomebridge. Pictures of sons Declan and Dominic who witnessed the shooting, father of Mary Mr Paddy McNeill carrying the coffin as it arrives home in Toomebridge. Pacemaker Press Intl. 2/2/87 73/87/C
Funeral of Mrs Mary McGlinchey wife of jailed INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey. She was shot dead in front of her two children in her Dundalk home. The funeral took place from her father's home in Toomebridge to Bellaghy, Co. Londonderry, kids Declan and Dominic carry their mothers coffin, sisters carry coffin, heavy police prescence, scuffles broke out en route to Boneyard. Pacemaker Press Intl. 3/2/87 70/87/BWC
Funeral of Mrs Mary McGlinchey wife of jailed INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey. She was shot dead in front of her two children in her Dundalk home. The funeral took place from her father's home in Toomebridge to Bellaghy, Co. Londonderry, kids Declan and Dominic carry their mothers coffin, sisters carry coffin, heavy police prescence, scuffles broke out en route to Boneyard. Pacemaker Press Intl. 3/2/87 70/87/BWC
PACEMAKER BELFAST Archive 13/2/1994 Dominic McGlincheys two sons Dominic Jnr (left) and Declan (right) carry their fathers coffin at his funeral in Bellaghy
Roisin McAlliskey (right) pictured at the funeral of INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey in 1994...
The body of Mrs Mary McGlinchey being removed from Dundalk hospital to be taken North to her fathers home near Toomebridge. Pictures of sons Declan and Dominic who witnessed the shooting, father of Mary Mr Paddy McNeill carrying the coffin as it arrives home in Toomebridge. Pacemaker Press Intl. 2/2/87 73/87/C
Michael Stone attacks an IRA funeral in Milltown Cemetery
Masked gunmen fire a volley of shots over the coffin of John Brady
Masked paramilitaries salute beside the coffin of Tony Catney during yesterday's funeral
Northern Ireland- 24th April 2014. Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Funeral of dissident Republican Tommy Crossan after he was murdered in west Belfast last week. The 43-year-old and former senior Continuity IRA figure was gunned down on Good Friday on the Springfield Road. Relatives and friends carry Mr Crossan's coffin as it leaves St. John the Evangelist Church on the Falls Road surrounded by a colour party.
Sunday Life News Peggy O'Hara mother to INLA Hunger Striker Patsy O'Hara funeral taking place in Derry

"There is a question as to how much the police must have known or anticipated that we would have this kind of display. I hope the police will now be vigorous in persuing this illegality and bring the people involved before the courts for possession of illegal weapons."

IRA leader Eddie Copeland helped carry the flag-draped coffin of Mr McGlinchey yesterday.

Pallbearers wearing white shirts and black berets also carried the coffin, which was covered in a starry plough flag and Irish tricolour, on which rested a pair of black leather gloves.

The coffin was escorted by marching men and hundreds of mourners before the cortege reached St Mary's Church for Requiem Mass.

The 39-year-old, a son of INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey, died suddenly at the weekend from a massive heart attack, which Fr Andrew Dolan told the congregation was brought on by the strains he endured from his childhood.

It is understood that Mr McGlinchey's only brother Dominic jnr - who was questioned on suspicion of involvement in the murders of two soldiers at Massereene Army base in 2009 - did not attend the funeral after the PSNI refused to give him assurances that he would not be arrested if he crossed the border.

Neither brother was charged with the soldiers' murders.

Veteran civil rights campaigner Bernadette McAliskey walked alongside Mr McGlinchey's uncle Sean McGlinchey, a Sinn Fein councillor.

Mr McGlinchey is survived by his wife Brenda and seven children. The Martyrs of Eireann band, which Mr McGlinchey helped set up, led the cortege while a group of men in white shirts, black jackets and gloves marched alongside the coffin as it made its way to the church.

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