Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein say 'no place for guns on our streets' after paramilitary display for INLA killer McElkerney

Social media footage showed a masked man wearing a white shirt and black tie discharging several rounds

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

Sinn Fein has said there is "no place for guns on our streets" after shots were fired during a paramilitary-style display in Belfast.

Social media footage circulated on Monday night showing a masked man wearing a white shirt and black tie discharging several rounds skywards.

He was surrounded by others similarly dressed and wearing balaclavas. One of the men held a picture of INLA man Martin McElkerney.

It has been reported it happened outside Mr McElkerney's house and during his wake in Ross Street in the Divis area. Following the volley of shots onlookers were heard cheering and applauding.

Martin McElkerney, 57, was taken to hospital after he was discovered critically injured at Milltown Cemetery in Belfast on Thursday.

He was convicted of killing two children and a soldier in a republican bomb attack during the Troubles and released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

His funeral will take place on Thursday.

A Sinn Fein spokesman said: “There is no place for guns on our streets. All armed groups should disband immediately.”

DUP Policing Board member Keith Buchanan condemned those responsible for the INLA 'show of strength'.

“Paramilitaries should have left the stage long ago,"the MLA said.

Martin McElkerney
Martin McElkerney

"Those who cling to the trappings of terrorism should feel the full weight of the law. The majority of people in Northern Ireland do not want this on our streets. It will take leadership from within the Republican and Nationalist community to step up to the mark.

"The days of empty words are over. Sinn Fein should condemn this.

"The Police will have questions to answer as to how they are tackling this. Intimidation in the form of men in balaclavas and ultimatum gunfire is unacceptable.”

SDLP Belfast councillor Brian Heading said: "If the last number of weeks have shown us anything, people are sick of this and they won't tolerate it anymore.

"This behaviour has no place here and those involved have no right to impose it on our communities. They need to get off the backs of our people."

In a statement on Tuesday morning, the PSNI said: "Police are aware of a video on social media showing a masked man firing shots into the air.

"An investigation is underway to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident."

The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) is suspected to have been behind 120 killings during the conflict.

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