Michelle O’Neill ‘truly sorry’ her actions at Bobby Storey funeral caused hurt
Stormont’s deputy First Minister has offered a “heartfelt and unreserved apology” to families bereaved in the pandemic for her actions in relation to her attendance at a large republican funeral.
As the Northern Ireland Assembly was recalled from Easter recess to debate a motion of censure against her, Michelle O’Neill told MLAs she was “truly sorry” for the hurt caused to those who had lost loved ones.
Finance Minister Conor Murphy, who also attended the funeral of Bobby Storey last June, apologised “fully and unreservedly to those families who were hurt in any way by my actions”.
Speaking in the debate First Minister Arlene Foster accused Sinn Fein of “clear and premeditated breaches of the Covid regulations” at the funeral.
Referring to the decision earlier this week not to pursue prosecution against 24 members of Sinn Fein who attended the funeral, Mrs Foster added: “There is a rightful expectation of everyone that the police and the justice system shows that they are not above the law.”
SDLP deputy leader Nichola Mallon opened the debate, urging Sinn Fein to make an unequivocal apology, while in closing UUP MLA Doug Beattie said Sinn Fein had contributed just four minutes to the two-hour debate, which he slammed as “just not good enough”.
MLAs passed the motion by oral vote, however the outcome will have no practical consequences for Sinn Fein ministers.
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