PSNI probe dissidents’ volley of shots in honour of Catney

A paramilitary guard during  the funeral of dissident Tony Catney
A paramilitary guard during the funeral of dissident Tony Catney

Police are examining video footage posted online of masked men firing a volley of shots in honour of Belfast dissident republican Tony Catney.

Mr Catney died earlier this month from cancer and hundreds turned out for this funeral last week. Hours before his funeral service a group of armed and masked men reportedly fired a final salute at an unknown location in Belfast. Footage of the incident, involving AK-47s, has now emerged on You Tube.

In the clip a man shouts out commands in Irish while three men fire three shots over a photograph, tricolour and floral tribute which spelled out ‘IRA’. It is thought it may be the first public video footage of the ‘new IRA’ formed by a merger of dissident groups in 2012.

A PSNI spokesman responded that they are aware of a funeral which took place on Wednesday, August 13, on the Falls Road, west Belfast. “A low-key policing operation was carried out in the area and an evidence gathering operation was deployed.

“All available footage is being examined and where any criminal offences are detected, these will be pursued by police.

“Whilst we have received no reports of shots being fired, police are aware of the existence of social media footage.”

Masked men in paramilitary uniforms were photographed at the funeral of Mr Catney. DUP MLA Nelson McCausland hit out at comments made by Fr Aidan Brankin about Mr Catney at the funeral. The priest apologised “for any hurt and distress”.