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DUP North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey and East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson have been encouraged by confirmation from the Police Ombudsman that she has been reassured that offences committed at the funeral of Bobby Storey will not become statute-barred.

Mr Storey said:

“I welcome this confirmation by the Ombudsman, and I’m encouraged that her office “can see why [we] would be concerned”

More than five months on from the flagrant disregard for Covid-19 regulations at the Sinn Fein organized funeral of senior republican Bobby Storey, several high-profile participants have yet to be formally interviewed. Against this backdrop, it seems highly unusual and absurd for the Chief Constable to suggest that the independent police investigation has entered its final stages. With time passing, serious damage is being caused to public confidence in the PSNI.

We have made it abundantly clear that everyone must be equally subject to the law. Lawmakers who become lawbreakers must face the consequences, however serious. Regardless of the politics or personalities involved, those responsible for breaches of the rules must face the full rigour of the law.”

Gavin Robinson said,

“The Police Ombudsman’s assessment that there is presently no cause for concern that potential offences could become statute-barred is reassuring but it still raises questions as to why the police are moving at such slow pace.

Serious questions remain unanswered regarding the PSNI’s engagement with the funeral’s organisers and whether the nature of those discussions has made the pursuit of eventual offenders more difficult. It is vital that we establish with complete certainty the circumstances of the police operation and if certain police officers have jeopardized prosecutions, then those officers must be held accountable for their actions.

Most importantly, evidence of wrongdoing must be pursued through the courts. Justice must be done and there can be no hiding place for those found in breach of the regulations.”