The photograph above, which appeared in The Irish News on Tuesday morning (May 7th), purports to show ‘independent veteran former IRA members’ firing a volley of shots in honour of former Belfast IRA member, Peter Rooney who died last week of cancer.
His funeral was, The Irish News reported, one of the largest seen in Belfast in years and in attendance were former IRA Adjutant-General Gerry Kelly, former IRA Northern Commander, Sean ‘Spike’ Murray and former Intelligence chief and personal fixer for Gerry Adams, Bobby Storey.
The presence of these gentlemen suggests the funeral arrangements had the blessing, as it were, of the Provo leadership and that raises questions about the true ownership and origin of the weapons used to fire a volley in Rooney’s memory.
Where did these weapons come from? Is it really credible that ‘independent veteran former’ Provos would have access to such weaponry, or that if such a group exists, which is doubtful, they would do such a thing, or own arms dumps, without the say-so and approval of the Provos?
Isn’t it much more likely that the pistols used in the salute came from a dump whose contents somehow managed to escape the decommissioning process which, we were all told, had removed IRA weaponry in total and for good? And isn’t it much more likely that what happened was a deniable piece of chicanery on the part of the Provo leadership?
Or is it just a huge coincidence that this show of force happened just as fresh talks were being convened between Sinn Fein and the DUP in a bid to restore the Stormont Assembly?
I wonder what Mary Lou makes of all this?