Storey funeral fallout: Ferocious attack on ‘despicable toadying’ of Simon Byrne
Jim Allister has launched a furious attack on the reputation of Chief Constable Simon Byrne, saying faith in him has been damaged beyond repair.
Mr Allister was just one of a number of unionist figures who took to the floor of the Assembly today to savage the police over the latest report into the Bobby Storey funeral last June 30.
The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found the PSNI had shown “no bias” in its handling of the funeral, and that the force had not done anything significantly wrong – despite the fact that the CCTV footage it collected on the day proved to be effectively useless for identifying potential offenders.
One of the core aspects of the report is that it found the PSNI top brass had decided that ensuring no disorder was its top priority on the day – followed by ensuring no terrorist paraphernalia was displayed, with actually enforcing Covid restrictions a “distant” third.
Mr Allister said: “The report was a whitewash, and it was never intended to be otherwise.
“Anyone who listened to the interview of Mr Parr on ‘The Nolan Show’ this morning could have no doubt about that.
“Here was a man, under interview, who said some amazing things.
“Of course, the starting point of what is amazing is the primary conclusion that Sinn Fein might was more important on the day than the Covid regulations, which were not just secondary but a very distant third to the thought that might was right and might would prevail.
“This morning, you heard Mr Parr effectively say that matters were delegated to an IRA events company, the name of which he would not give.
For the FULL STORY on that – click here“He would not say whether the company was licensed; indeed, he may never have inquired.
“When you hear that a gold commander ordered that a helicopter should not oversee the wake event, where hundreds of people were gathered, and that the video cameras were so far back that the footage was useless, the conclusion is inescapable: the streets of west Belfast were deliberately, consciously surrendered on the day of the Storey funeral.
“The contrast is not with what would have happened at a loyalist funeral; the contrast is with what happened at the funerals of ordinary folk, who were deprived of the basic rights that attend a funeral and were required to obey.
“When it came to Sinn Féin, however, it called the shots.
“There might not have been any shots over the coffin on that occasion, but there were certainly shots called by Sinn Féin. We had the despicable scene of our compliant Chief Constable toadying to all of that.
“What he did on that day means, in my book, that confidence in him is incapable of ever being restored.”
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