Northern Ireland news

Shots fired at wake of former INLA prisoner Martin McElkerney

Masked gunmen fire a volley of shots outside the home of INLA man Martin McElkerney who died last week after a shooting incident in Milltown cemetery. Picture: Cliff Donaldson.
Connla Young

Shots were fired outside the wake house of former INLA prisoner Martin McElkerney last night.

Six masked men emerged, with one man holding a picture of McElkerney and another man armed with an assault rifle.

He fired two single shots, followed by a volley, into the air. It was greeted by cheers and applause from onlookers in Ross Street in the Divis area of west Belfast.

The shots were fired shortly after a police helicopter, which had been circling the area, had left.

Masked gunmen fire a volley of shots outside the home of INLA man Martin McElkerney who died last week after a shooting incident in Milltown cemetery. Picture: Cliff Donaldson.

Earlier, an estimated 30 men with their faces covered stood to attention at either side of the coffin draped in the tricolour as McElkerney's remains returned home.

Around 50 other men, dressed in white shirts and black ties, also formed up and saluted outside his home.

McElkerney's funeral will take place on Thursday, leaving his home for Requiem Mass at St Peter's Cathedral at 11am.

The 57-year-old took his own life in a shooting at the republican plot at Milltown cemetery last week.

The Funeral of Martin McElkerney on the way into his home in west Belfast

McElkerney was jailed following the death of Kevin Valliday (11), Stephen Bennett (14) and Lance Bombardier Kevin Waller (20) in an INLA bomb at the Divis Flats complex in west Belfast in 1982.

He was later released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

SDLP councillor Brian Heading said those involved in the shooting display "have no right to impose this upon our communities".

The remains of Martin McElkerney return to his home

"The practice of firing shots in a built up area, whether as a 'show of strength' or 'mark of respect' has no place in our society, not now, not ever," he said.

The Funeral of Martin McElkerneyon the way vinto his home in West Belfast.

Martin McElkerney

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