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Brothers in arms: Pallbearers Lynch, Murray and 'The Surgeon' turn Storey's send-off into show of strength

Leading IRA army council figures are among those entrusted with final lift

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Provo top brass: Sean Hughes (left, Spike Murray, Gerry Kelly and Gerry Adams carry Bobby Storey's coffin.

Provo top brass: Sean Hughes (left, Spike Murray, Gerry Kelly and Gerry Adams carry Bobby Storey's coffin.

Photopress

Republican royalty: Martin Lynch (second from left) has led the Provisionals since 2014, with Martin Ferris carrying coffin behind him

Republican royalty: Martin Lynch (second from left) has led the Provisionals since 2014, with Martin Ferris carrying coffin behind him

Photopress

Republicans line the streets of west Belfast for the funeral of Bobby Storey.  Picture: Colm O'Reilly

Republicans line the streets of west Belfast for the funeral of Bobby Storey. Picture: Colm O'Reilly

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill during the funeral of senior Bobby Storey at St Agnes' Church in west Belfast.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill during the funeral of senior Bobby Storey at St Agnes' Church in west Belfast.

PA

September 2015 - Sinn Fein member Bobby Storey. Picture by Brian Little/Press Eye

September 2015 - Sinn Fein member Bobby Storey. Picture by Brian Little/Press Eye

PressEye

Provo top brass: Sean Hughes (left, Spike Murray, Gerry Kelly and Gerry Adams carry Bobby Storey's coffin.

The most telling images to emerge from the funeral of Bobby Storey were not those of Sinn Fein leader Michelle O'Neill breaking social distancing guidelines, but who carried his coffin into the republican plot at Milltown Cemetery.

The remains of the IRA's director of intelligence were shouldered by Gerry Adams, Gerry Kelly, Sean Hughes, Sean 'Spike' Murray, Martin 'Duckser' Lynch and Martin Ferris.

The six make up the political and military wings of the modern-day Provisional republican movement. It was no coincidence that they came together to give the final 'lift' to Storey's coffin before it was brought to Roselawn Cemetery for cremation.