Northern Ireland

Storey to sue police for 'wrongful arrest'

Republican Bobby Storey 
Republican Bobby Storey  Republican Bobby Storey 

REPUBLICAN Bobby Storey is to sue police for wrongful arrest, his solicitor has revealed after the Sinn Féin man was released unconditionally by detectives investigating the murder of Kevin McGuigan.

Storey, a former IRA prisoner, is a core member of the Sinn Féin leadership and the party's northern chairman.

He had been quizzed by officers investigating the death of Mr McGuigan, who was shot dead at his east Belfast home last month.

Police have said members of the IRA were involved in the killing.

Senior republican Eddie Copeland (45) was also released unconditionally, shortly after Storey's release.

Republican Brian Gillen (58) has also been released. One woman remains in custody.

Storey's solicitor John Finucane confirmed on Twitter that his client would be "suing for unlawful arrest".

59-year-old Storey, from Andersonstown was a senior member of the IRA and in recent years has taken on the role of Sinn Féin's northern chairman, a job that comes with an office at Stormont.

He joined the IRA at 16 and was interned on his 17th birthday, spending the next two years alongside many leading republicans in what was then called Long Kesh.

He spent up to 20 years in jail over the course of Troubles, much of it on remand, and took part in the IRA's mass breakout from the Maze prison in 1983 before being recaptured.

Seen as a close associate and ally of Gerry Adams, Storey reportedly policed the IRA ceasefire in the 1990s and is still seen acting as a steward during demonstrations against loyalist parades on the Crumlin Road.

In the post-ceasefire period he has been arrested in relation to the Castlereagh break-in, the Northern Bank robbery and the disappearance of Jean McConville in 1972.

Last year during at a protest against Gerry Adams's arrest, Storey paraphrased the Sinn Féin president's famous phrase from 1995, telling the assembled crowd "We ain't gone away you know", though it wasn't explicit who he was referring to.

In May this year he carried the coffin of former IRA commander Gerard 'Jock' Davison alongside fellow leading republican Sean 'Spike' Murray.