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Eilis O'Hanlon

Bobby Storey funeral was street theatre, designed to send a message

Eilis O'Hanlon


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Mr Storey’s family did attend Tuesday’s service (Liam McBurney/PA)

Mr Storey’s family did attend Tuesday’s service (Liam McBurney/PA)

PA

Mr Storey’s family did attend Tuesday’s service (Liam McBurney/PA)

The half-hearted apologies from Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald and her Northern deputy Michelle O'Neill in response to public fury over their attendance at the funeral of an IRA veteran in Belfast during which social distancing rules were flouted reminded me of a frustrating afternoon I once spent on holiday.

I can't remember what sparked it off. One of the children had said or done something to their younger sister, and an argument ensued. We were walking through a lovely part of rural France, the sun was shining, crickets chirruping, but it just went on and on.

"I'm not sorry I did it," the first child kept saying, "but I'm sorry if it upset you." This in turn provoked the inevitable retort: "Then you're not really sorry, are you?"