Resign for which part? by Michael Lagan

No, Sinn Féin members or politicians will not be prosecuted for the Bobby Storey funeral, and Roselawn Crematorium was not taken over by the IRA or Sinn Féin on the day of Bobby Storey’s cremation.  These revelations, for some anyhow, come after months of interviews and scrutiny from the PSNI and independent investigations.  However, something interesting happened today – Arlene Foster called for the PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne to resign over what she saw as his “untenable” position as head of the PSNI. 

With that in mind: was Simon Byrne’s position labelled “untenable” by Arlene when a couple of thousand Rangers fans flooded the Shankill Road to celebrate a league win, clearly breaching Covid regulations and there wasn’t a PSNI officer to be seen on the ground?  Was his position seen as “untenable” by Arlene when days before the Bobby Storey funeral, a large loyalist funeral marched its way up the Shankill Road with traffic being stopped by the very same PSNI whose Chief Constable’s position is now in question?  The answer is NO, in fact the loyalist funeral days before the Storey funeral wasn’t even mentioned by the DUP and as far as I know hasn’t been to date.  As for the Rangers fans celebrating their team’s win, well let’s just say they were given a very passive tap on the wrist by unionist politicians, which was clearly for PR purposes rather than anything else.  The PSNI has taken action against a few people involved in that breach of Covid regulations; however, political unionist voices were less than critical of the jovial scenes on the Shankill Road that night.

Let’s not forget both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael got stuck in to Sinn Féin too.  There was so much condemnation of Sinn Féin and its supposed taking over of Roselawn and the condemnation of the outpouring of love and respect for a friend, leader, family man and comrade that some things got lost in the furore.  I remember the funeral of Detective Garda Colm Horkan, rest his soul, who was shot dead in Castlrea, County Roscommon on June 17th in the line of duty.  Charlie Flanagan as well as Garda Commissioner Drew Harris both attended the massive funeral, yet there was but a whisper from the high and mighty about that breach of Covid regulations in the South.  Charlie Flanagan actually tweeted, and I quote – “Tell me who your friends are & I’ll tell you who you are.”  Bobby Storey, IRA hard man was ‘friend’ to Sinn Fein leadership North & South.  Open display of paramilitary trappings at Belfast funeral is a chilling reminder to all.”

Simon Byrne has refused to resign. Whether that is right or wrong is ultimately on his conscience, but when radio hosts rabidly harass the subject, political opponents of all hues, including so-called nationalists, unionist and apparently neither, attack one political party, it’s membership and thousands of supporters while ignoring very blatant occurrences of the very same thing they are attacking a community for…one must also start to look at what those parties stand to gain from attacking that one party, and a community grieving the loss of a friend, leader, family man and comrade.

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