Northern Ireland news

Former RUC officer injured in Roselawn bombing in 1987 'maddened' by 'special treatment' at Bobby Storey funeral

Firemen at the scene of a bomb attack at Roselawn Cemetery in east Belfast in March 1987. Picture: Pacemaker

A former RUC officer injured in an IRA bomb attack at Roselawn Cemetery has been left "maddened" that "special treatment" was given to a republican funeral at the same spot.

The former officer said the scenes at Bobby Storey's funeral had "brought back all the memories" of being caught up in the 1987 bomb.

The former RUC officer said the events left him feeling that "no-one else matters" other than republicans.

He recalled how he had been called to Roselawn on March 13, 1987 following reports that a bomb had been left in the area.

The call had been made just before the funeral of Reserve Police Officer, Peter Nesbitt (32), who had been killed a few days earlier in an IRA booby-trap bomb on the corner of Woodvale Road and the Crumlin Road in north Belfast.

"This certainly has brought back all the memories of the event...and it maddens me in a way that the event has taken place in the way it did. The particular spot where the event took place in 1987," he said.

A car was found and the officer asked staff to clear the area.

Two other police officers then arrived and as he approached them to tell they to stay back from the car, he was blown backwards by the force of the blast.

"I really didn't know what had happened. I saw the other two police officers lying on the ground and I went over and the first guy, I thought he was dead," the unnamed officer told the Nolan Show.

“Someone, I’m told, (was) sitting on a high vantage point, overlooking the spot and saw that we were in the vicinity of the car and pushed the button….”

The IRA claimed the attack had been in retaliation for "RUC brutality" at republican funerals.

When republicans "took over control of the entrance there," last week he said all the memories came "flooding back"

The officer said he had been shielding for the past 105 days as he is recovering from brain surgery: "I haven't been able to go out of the house and meet with my friends".

And he added: "It makes everyone else feel like second-class citizens. The message that no-one else matters, only this particular group. They can do what they want and no one can question what they do".

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Northern Ireland news