Belfast Telegraph

Shots fired as masked men form up ahead of INLA killer's funeral

Shots are fired in west Belfast in honour of INLA leader Martin McElkerney
Shots are fired in west Belfast in honour of INLA leader Martin McElkerney
Martin McElkerney
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

A masked man fired gunshots in west Belfast in a mark of respect to INLA killer Martin McElkerney.

Video footage emerged on social media last night showing masked men in balaclavas including one firing a rifle into the air outside a house, before retreating inside.

Another video shows around 20 masked men in a guard of honour as the coffin arrives.

It appears to have happened close to St Peter's Cathedral in the Divis area of the lower Falls Road, close to where McElkerney lived.

His funeral is to take place at St Peter's at 11am on Thursday, with cremation at Roselawn at 4pm.

Triple killer McElkerney was jailed in 1987 for his part in a 1982 booby-trap bomb which killed two schoolboys, Kevin Valliday (11) and his friend Stephen Bennet (14), as well as 20-year-old Lance Bombardier Kevin Waller.

McElkerney died last week after he was found with a gunshot wound at the republican plot in Milltown Cemetery.

The INLA man had been identified in court as the lookout for the bomber who triggered the device at Divis Flats in 1982.

McElkerney received three life sentences in 1987, but was released in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

By 2010 he was among four ex-INLA prisoners who appeared at a press conference to announce that the left-wing paramilitary group had disposed of its weapons. It's believed the terror group was responsible for more than 120 deaths during the Troubles.

The IRSP, the political wing of the INLA, referred to the "tragic and untimely passing of life long INLA volunteer, former prisoner and IRSP Ard Comhairle member Martin McElkerney" after his death.

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