Call for police to take action after masked figures appear at Derry republican's funeral
DUP Foyle MLA Gary Middleton has called for police to take action after masked figures appeared at the funeral of a well known republican in Londonderry at the weekend.
Former IRA prisoner Stephen Mellon was laid to rest in Derry on Saturday.
Four masked men dressed in paramilitary regalia appeared outside Mellon's brothers Elmwood Terrace home and helped carry his coffin.
A few pics from today's funeral of Former IRA POW Stephen Mellon in Derry. pic.twitter.com/ocEEAzvo2l— Stephen Murney (@StephenMurney) August 4, 2018
Mr Middleton said that similar displays had occurred at other funerals in the Derry area.
“Police have previously taken action, including arrests following other such paramilitary style displays at funerals. I have spoken with the PSNI following this latest incident and have been told that an evidence gathering operation was in place," the Foyle MLA said.
"Whilst on this occasion there do not appear to have been any weapons present or shots fired, the presence of masked figures in paramilitary style dress should not be ignored. Neither can it be somehow ‘normalised’ because it appears to happen regularly now at the funerals of those linked to dissident republicanism.
"I would expect the police to ensure that all evidence at this funeral is thoroughly investigated and that arrests might follow. It is vital that anyone taking to the streets in such blatant illegal activity should have the knowledge that their actions will be subject to proper police investigation and subsequent action.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital