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In pictures: Paramilitary funeral for murdered dissident Tommy Crossan

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The PSNI say that they will “review” footage of the paramilitary-style funeral yesterday of a dissident republican shot dead in west Belfast on Good Friday.

Men in paramilitary garb with black cloth covering their faces formed a guard of honour as the tricolour-draped coffin of Tommy Crossan was carried by relatives and friends along the Falls Road, led by a lone bagpiper.

The funeral mass for the former Continuity IRA leader took place at St John’s Church in west Belfast.

The 43 year-old was shot dead in broad daylight last Friday while sitting in the office of a friend at the Peter Pan complex on the Springfield Road shortly before 5pm.

It is understood he had been expelled from the CIRA after a fall-out.

He was a married father-of-six and grandfather-of-five.

A picture of Mr Crossan and his wife adorned with bright orange flowers was visible on the hearse yesterday.

Graffiti on the walls in the area read ‘RIP Tommy Crossan’ and ‘True son of Eire’.

A 26-year-old man arrested in relation to the murder on Saturday was released without charge.

In an appeal over the murder less than 24 hours after the killing, Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Jonathan Roberts said the victim’s “lifestyle” was no justification for what they termed a “barbaric action against him”.

The priest who gave the last rites called on the community to speak out against the killers and help bring them to justice.

Fr Tony Devlin said that the murder was “a public execution calculated to bring death and fear to the community”.

The parish priest of St Paul’s said that the “price of peace” in the local area will involve speaking out against the murder and “if possible to help to bring to justice those who carried out this brutal act”.

DUP MEP Diane Dodds said yesterday that she had written to the Chief Constable asking him to ensure the police investigate the paramilitary funeral.

“If there were no police on the ground then what other surveillance of the event have the police carried out and what actions will follow as a result?” she said.

“Those who took the life of this individual must be found and imprisoned, but it is also wrong to celebrate the life of a terrorist through such a show of strength.”

A PSNI spokesman said they were aware of the funeral. “A low key policing operation was carried out in the area,” he said. “An evidence-gathering operation was deployed and all available footage will be examined. Where any criminal offences are detected, these will be pursued by police.”

 

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