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DUP North Antrim MLA and Policing Board representative Mervyn Storey has welcomed confirmation by the PSNI that a file has been prepared and will be passed to the Public Prosecution Service in relation to alleged breaches of Covid-19 regulations at the funeral of republican Bobby Storey.

Mr Storey said:

“After months of unexplained and unacceptable delays, this announcement is a welcome development. It is now critical that any files received by the PPS are examined rigorously with view to holding those responsible for flagrant breaches of the law accountable through the courts.

You cannot make the laws and then break the laws. No one is above the law. We must all be equal under the law.

It is evidently in the public interest that prosecutions follow. This is essential to rebuild trust in the rule of law which was so flagrantly undermined by events at the funeral of Bobby Storey.

Today’s statement is also a timely reminder of weak and vacuous claims that this gathering was organised in compliance with the Covid regulations at that time. Indeed, just yesterday the deputy First Minister reiterated the spurious defence that she has ‘‘always followed the public health advice.’’ The preparation of this file demonstrates Sinn Fein’s hypocrisy in failing to meet the standards in public office they all too readily demand of others.

Many questions still remain regarding the police operation and investigation. All the circumstances around the events leading up to and including the day of the funeral still need to be answered. As we have over the last few months, we will continue to seek answers to these and other questions.

The police have a significant challenge to address growing perceptions of two-tier policing. It should not be the case that hundreds of on-the-spot fines for minor offences can be issued with great freedom while it takes almost six months for public concerns around major breaches to be addressed.”