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DUP warns Belfast council over Storey funeral 'disparity'

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Bobby Storey

Bobby Storey

Kevin Scott / Presseye

Bobby Storey

The DUP in Belfast has said it will hold City Hall officials "to account for any unjustified disparity" in funeral arrangements at Roselawn Crematorium.

Belfast City Council yesterday apologised over its handling of the funeral of IRA veteran Bobby Storey.

BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show reported that guidance was sent by Belfast City Council to funeral directors last Monday night, the day before Mr Storey's funeral, stating that up to 30 people would not be allowed to attend cremations until Wednesday, July 1.

Cremations were cancelled and eight families were denied entry last Tuesday to the facility because of Mr Storey's funeral.

The council said this was an "error of judgment" and an exception was made for the loved ones of Mr Storey "for operational reasons".

City Hall officials have apologised to the other families affected. They said: "An operational decision was made that for cremations the new procedures would apply from the cremation of Bobby Storey onwards. We accept in hindsight that this was an error of judgment.

"This meant that only one of the nine cremation services on Tuesday had 30 people in attendance; there were four burial services and these burial services had up to 30 in attendance; there were eight cremation services affected.

"We are contacting these families and are deeply sorry for how this error will have affected them."

Last night the DUP group leader on Belfast City Council said the party was "distressed" that the local authority "should have done anything that would give the impression or effect of inconsistency".

He said that after concerns were raised the DUP met with council officers and were "reassured that at no time were council facilities, or entry and exit to the same, under the control of any external organisation".

Funeral of senior republican Bobby Storey takes place in west Belfast - June 30 2020 [Photos] Close

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams as the funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams as the funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Gerry Kelly and Michelle O'Neill as the funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Gerry Kelly and Michelle O'Neill as the funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020

The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020 The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020

The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020 The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020

The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020 The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020

The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020 The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020

The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020 The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020

The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020 The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020

The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020 The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020

The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020 The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020

The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020 The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020

The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast.

Pictured: Conor Murphy MLA.

Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 30th June 2020 The funeral of Bobby Storey has taken place in Belfast. Pictured: Conor Murphy MLA. Photo by Philip Magowan / Press Eye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams as the funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams as the funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The funeral of Bobby Storey takes place in Andersonstown, west Belfast on June 30th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Councillor George Dorrian said: "We understand that the recent change in Executive guidelines regarding attendance came late, and that directors and their departments had to react hastily to those developments, but this does not fully explain the inconsistent application by the council. We continue to gather facts and will hold relevant directors to account for any unjustified disparity."

Veteran UUP councillor Jim Rodgers said he was concerned by the council's actions.

"It is absolutely disgraceful," he said. "There should be no hierarchy with regards to cremations or burials."

He said he was aware of the cremation of the IRA veteran before Tuesday, but what he had heard about the "special measures" for Mr Storey was "worrying and disturbing" and he would be seeking meetings with officials and the police about their actions on the day.

Belfast Telegraph