Northern Ireland news

Bobby Storey funeral: Timeline

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (left) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill during the funeral Bobby Storey at the republican plot at Milltown Cemetery. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

* March 28 2020: Coronavirus regulations first introduced to identify permissible behaviour and criminalise those breaking the law, such as leaving home without reason or participating in gatherings.

* June 21 2020: Bobby Storey dies in England following an unsuccessful lung transplant surgery. His funeral is delayed as the family wait for his body to be returned home.

* June 25 2020: Eighth set of amending regulations introduced (different aspects of the eighth set took effect on four different dates between June 25 and July 5).

* June 26 2020: PSNI decides it is not proportionate to intervene following reports of approximately 400 people around Mr Storey home. Lead Sinn Féin organiser tells police stewards were in place to encourage social distancing.

* June 28 2020 (11pm): Religious services without numerical restriction are once again permitted.

* June 28 2020: PSNI receives copy of Sinn Féin plan for funeral including for 30-strong cortége from Mr Storey's home to St Agnes' Church, strictly enforced by stewards following at a distance of 10 metres to prevent other mourners joining.

* June 29 2020 (11pm): Ninth set of amending regulations introduced - number of persons who can now gather indoors in a public place increased from two to 30; number outdoors increased from 10 to 30. No restriction on number of people who can attend a funeral.

* June 30 2020: Guard of honour lines streets of Andersonstown in west Belfast for Bobby Storey's funeral at St Agnes' Church. Funeral procession is attended by more than 1,500 people. Guard of honour continues for just over a mile to Milltown Cemetery where there is an oration. His remains are transferred to Roselawn Cemetery in east Belfast - the only one of nine outdoor commital ceremoneies that day where 30 people were allowed to attend.

* July 2 2020 (22.30pm): Tenth regulation brought in - repealing the categories of person who could attend a deceased's funeral "for reasons of consistency and clarity". Visitor attractions, cafés, bars and restaurants are also allowed to re-open.

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