'She would do it again' - Arlene Foster believes Michelle O'Neill would change nothing about how she conducted herself at funeral of Bobby Storey

First Minister, Arlene Foster, believes deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill, would attend the funeral of Bobby Storey if it were today in precisely the same way she did on June 30, 2020.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 5:15 pm

The DUP leader held a press conference on Tuesday during which she said she had spoken to PSNI Chief Constable, Simon Byrne, and told him she thought he should resign.

Mrs. Foster's comments came after the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) announced it would not be pursuing prosecutions against anyone, including deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill in connection with the funeral of former IRA man, Bobby Storey, on June 30, 2020.

"I think she would do it again," said Mrs. Foster.

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First Minister Arlene Foster pictured outside her home in Co. Fermanagh on Tuesday evening. (Photo: PA Wire)

"If you look back at what the deputy First Minister said at the time, and I quote 'I will never apologise for going to the funeral of a friend'.

"If that is still her position, then she would do it again," added the First Minister.

Deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill issued a statement responding to the PPS' announcement on Tuesday afternoon.

“I wish to say again today that I am sorry for the hurt that has been caused to so many, including to Bobby Storey’s own family who have been thrust into the headlines at a time of immense grief.

“Over the past nine months, I have worked tirelessly to rebuild trust with the public and I continue to work every day to navigate us all through this unprecedented crisis.”

Michelle O’Neill added: “Nine months ago I laid my dear friend Bobby Storey to rest.

"I accept and understand that many people, particularly those who had lost loved ones during the last year, felt that by my actions, I gave the impression that the rules did not apply to us all equally. Let me say clearly they do.

“No funeral is more important than any other. No family or community is any more important than any other. All grief is devastating."

Ms. O'Neill continued: “I wish to say again today that I am sorry for the hurt that has been caused to so many, including to Bobby Storey’s own family who have been thrust into the headlines at a time of immense grief. We wanted only to support Bobby’s family as he was laid to rest.

“Over the past nine months, I have worked tirelessly to rebuild trust with the public and I continue to work every day to navigate us all through this unprecedented crisis.

“We are now beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel in relation to this dreadful pandemic. I will continue to focus on leading us to better days ahead.”

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