The remains of senior IRA man Bobby Storey were returned to his west Belfast home on Friday in preparation for his funeral next week
Crowds lined the Falls Road as the coffin made its way to the family home in Andersonstown.
The hearse was flanked by a guard of honour of men and women in dark suits, white shirts and black ties, while others in similar garb lined the pavement.
Black flags fluttered in the breeze from nearby houses.
Among those at the Storey family home was Bernadette McGuinness, widow of former Deputy First Minister and IRA leader Martin McGuinness, and former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams.
Stormont Assembly Member Martina Anderson and North Belfast MP John Finucane also attended.
Mr Storey (64), who died in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne last week after an unsuccessful lung transplant, was a former northern chairman of Sinn Fein, as well as a former internee.
His remains will leave his home in Owenvarragh Park next Tuesday at 10.30am for 11am Mass at St Agnes’ Church on the Andersonstown Road, and afterwards to Milltown Cemetery.
Thousands of mourners are expected to attend and senior republicans have been urged to ensure social distancing measures are respected.
Mr Adams is expected to deliver a eulogy at the graveside.
Described as a “great republican” by Sinn president Mary Lou McDonald, Storey was the IRA’s former director of intelligence and was reputed to have planned the 1983 escape of 38 prisoners from the Maze, as well as the 2002 Castlereagh RUC base break-in, and the 2004 Northern Bank robbery.
He was sentenced to 18 years for possession of a rifle in 1981 and also spent several periods behind bars remanded on other charges.
In 2005 an Ulster Unionist MP used parliamentary privilege to claim that Storey was the IRA’s head of intelligence.
He spent more than 20 years in prison.
Two years ago the Storey home, along with a house belonging to Mr Adams, was targeted in an attack Sinn Fein blamed on dissident republicans.
A wake for the veteran IRA figure is being held at the family home over the next three days.