PSNI called out to funeral procession on Falls Road in Belfast - DUP says rules on funerals are ‘very clear’

The PSNI says it has been called out to what appeared to be a major funeral procession on the Falls Road in west Belfast.

A PSNI spokeswoman said the report was made just before 1pm yesterday afternoon, Tuesday February 23.

She said: “Police responded and based on observations of people gathered outside the church at the time, officers did not identify any breaches of the Health Protection Regulations.”

The PSNI said they are aware of video footage circulating on social media of a funeral procession on the Falls Road yesterday afternoon and are making enquiries.

It is understood that when police arrived at the scene there were only a few people standing outside the church and as a result, it was determined that no Covid regulations had been breached.

However police are now making enquiries into the video footage, which they believe may show the funeral procession walking to the church.

In a 20-second clip circulating on social media, some 50 to 60 people can be seen walking in procession. However it is not clear whether that was the full extent of the crowd due to the brevity of the clip.

The footage has prompted hundreds of comments online about the issue of policing pandemic regulations.

DUP MLA William Humphrey said: “Whilst everyone is looking ahead to when restrictions might be relaxed, the rules around funerals at present are very clear and they apply to everyone.

“Whilst police may not have identified any breach when they responded to the initial report, they have a duty to properly investigate the evidence which has subsequently come to light.

“Colleagues on the Policing Board have repeatedly raised this issue and the impact such repeated breaches have on public perception. We will continue to press for a demonstration that the PSNI are prepared to enforce these regulations.”

Sinn Fein and the SDLP have been invited to comment.

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