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Those attending Bobby Storey’s funeral must observe social distancing – O’Neill

Crowds are expected on Tuesday as the veteran republican is laid to rest.

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Bobby Storey’s remains arrived at his home in west Belfast on Friday (Liam McBurney/PA)

Bobby Storey’s remains arrived at his home in west Belfast on Friday (Liam McBurney/PA)

Bobby Storey’s remains arrived at his home in west Belfast on Friday (Liam McBurney/PA)

Those attending the funeral of veteran republican Bobby Storey must observe social distancing, Sinn Fein’s deputy leader has said.

Michelle O’Neill said all those in attendance at the funeral in Belfast on Tuesday should observe public health advice amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“My message would be very simple, my message is to follow public health advice, socially distance, stay apart and follow the regulations,” the deputy First Minister told a press conference at Stormont on Monday.

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The remains of senior Irish Republican Bobby Storey arriving at his family home in west Belfast on Friday (Liam McBurney/PA)

The remains of senior Irish Republican Bobby Storey arriving at his family home in west Belfast on Friday (Liam McBurney/PA)

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The remains of senior Irish Republican Bobby Storey arriving at his family home in west Belfast on Friday (Liam McBurney/PA)

First Minister Arlene Foster added: “It is important that people do stick to the public health regulation and respect the fact that we are still in a situation where Covid-19 could be spread.”

Hundreds lined the streets on Friday as the remains of the former leading IRA figure arrived at his home in west Belfast.

He was a highly influential presence within his community throughout the Troubles and subsequent peace process.

A guard of honour was formed near his Andersonstown home on Friday evening.

Mr Storey was 64 and had been unwell for a period of time.

He died in England on June 21 following an unsuccessful lung transplant.

PA