The Northern Ireland public cannot be kept in lockdown if the IRA can do as it pleases

News Letter editorial of Friday April 2 2021:

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 9:02 am
Updated Friday, 2nd April 2021, 12:35 pm
News Letter editorial

The immense damage done by the IRA funeral and the flagrant breach of social distancing, with Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister at the helm of it, overshadows everything about lockdown.

The PSNI helped to organise the vile spectacle.

The PPS found that this input made a prosecution unrealistic, as did the fact that a recent change to the regulations supposedly made them hard to understand to politicians.

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Belfast City Council facilitated the eastern end of that terrorist day of strength, while preventing other families the same use of Roselawn crematorium. Then a report by the council made much mention of the hurt of those families, and concluded that Sinn Fein had not applied pressure to ensure such a republican takeover of the crematorium.

There seem barely to be proper answers to this sickening affair, let alone justice.

The tragedy is that the population of Northern Ireland had been obedient for so long. And it will be obedient still, because people want to do their best.

They missed funerals of loved ones even after the June IRA display, which did not result in so much as a caution. All they can do is watch in horror the special treatment for terrorists, shamefully facilitated by people in authority across society.

But for all this obedience, we must not overlook the reality that the PSNI-assisted Bobby Storey free-for-all adds to the impetus for ending lockdown. We cannot just take the goodwill of the public at large for granted when Michelle O’Neill, who scolds them on what they can and cannot do, makes clear that if it is the funeral of her own terrorist friend then the limits that apply to such events do not apply to her.

Businesses are being ruined yet their opening is snail like,

There was some good news yesterday with the opening of sport such as golf, which is negligible risk.

It will give some people cheer over Easter but needs to be followed by other relaxations.

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Alistair Bushe

Editor