Walking It Back


From left: Mary Lou McDonald, Gerry Adams and Michelle O’Neill at IRA veteran Bobby Storey’s funeral

“No family’s grief is more important than another’s.

I am particularly concerned that grieving families who have lost a loved one during the pandemic had their heartache compounded by the necessary restrictions which were in place at that time.

Not being able to have their family and friends’ support to help them through was hugely difficult.

I am also concerned that those grieving families are experiencing more hurt over recent days. I am sorry for that.”

Sinn Féin’s Northern Ireland Deputy Minister Michelle O’Neill.

O’Neill ‘sorry’ for hurt caused over Storey funeral gathering (RTÉ)

Pic: BBC


Sinn Fein TD Matt Carthy; Fine Gael Senator Barry Ward on The Tonight Show on Wednesday

This morning.

On Today with Sarah McInerney‘s The Gathering slot, the guests were discussing Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill’s attendance at the funeral of IRA veteran Bobby Storey in Belfast

Ms O’Neill had earlier issued a statement to say sorry for any hurt caused by her attendance.

During The Gathering, Ms McInerney and Dun Laoghaire Fine Gael TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill had this exchange:

Sarah McInerney: “…there have been large funerals. I saw [Sinn Féin TD] Matt Carthy, for example, on the Tonight show talking about Garda Horkan’s funeral.”

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill: “The funeral of a serving guard killed in the line of duty?”

McInerney: “He was raising that as an issue, as a comparison, yes.”

Carroll MacNeill: “Yes, and the Minister for Justice attended that and that was, and but the Taoiseach didn’t attend it and the President didn’t attend it. And that’s a massive state funeral and one of the most tragic and serious things that can happen in this state. And you saw the outpouring from people all across the country, marking it in their own private ways, socially distanced Garda stations all around the country, a moment’s silence. Not even the Taoiseach, not even the president at those very unique moments where there’s a state funeral of that kind attended because it wasn’t appropriate to do so.

“There’s no way, that the nature of that funeral, the murder of a serving Garda, in the line of duty can be compared to the murder of what Mary Lou McDonald described as her friend. Totally different. Totally different.”

McInerney: “I want to bring the others in on this. But I don’t know, do you want to respond to that Martin?”

Martin Kenny: “Look, I mean, I understand there are people who are grieving and people who have been hurt through the pandemic and I understand how they are, you know, somewhat annoyed in regard to that. But there’s also a very political element to this. Our political opponents are jumping on this and indeed, you know, Dublin unionists and Fine Gael are all over this and have been for the past week and we’re used to that and we will deal with it.”

McInerney: “Ok, briefly, Jennifer.”

Carroll MacNeill: “The reason that this is a political holding to account of Sinn Fein, Sinn Fein don’t like that. Sinn Fein aren’t used to that. But if you want to be in Dail Eireann and participate as the leader of the Opposition, as you say, you should probably get used to being held to account as a normal political party. We in Fine Gael have said that we don’t believe you are a normal political party.

Kenny: “We’re quite used to it.”

Carroll MacNeill: “But if you want to engage in that way then you are…”

Talk over each other

Kenny: “More people in this country voted for us than voted for your party and they believe it.”

Meanwhile, on Virgin Media One’s Tonight show on Wednesday night, Mr Carthy appeared with newly appointed Fine Gael Senator Barry Ward when Ms O’Neill’s attendance at Mr Storey’s funeral was spoken about.

At the outset, Mr Carthy criticised Fine Gael and the DUP for attempting to score “political points”.

Matt Carthy: “There have been lots of gatherings at funerals, some of which social distancing wouldn’t have been as robust as you would have liked. And I’ve seen some people using those in response to attacks by Fine Gael and others in relation to Bobby Storey’s funeral. I would ask them to stop because I think it’s really unfair on the families concerned. I think it’s actually really, really lousy…as people, you know, politics, fair game. We’re, as a party, are used to getting attacked for all sorts of reasons but to actually use someone’s funeral…”


Ward: “Leo Varadkar didn’t even attend the funeral of Detective Horkan in Castlerea…”

Carthy: “But two government ministers…”

Ward: “Yeah, the Minister for Justice appropriately did. But normally, at a State funeral, the Taoiseach would go and he stepped back…rather than taking the media opportunity that Mary Lou and those did….”

Listen back to Today with Sarah McInerney here

Watch back the Tonight show in full here

38 thoughts on “Walking It Back

        1. Help

          Another who desires to kill others eventually dies
          I only hope when I die I do not go to heaven with those who
          Would kill
          If so I would prefer to go to hell

  1. MaryLou's ArmaLite

    Yesterday SF/IRA insisted they did nothing wrong. Why the apology today? And while they are apologising, anything for the many victims of the thug Bobby Storey?

    Remember a vote for SF/IRA is a vote for murder.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      It’s a statement, not an apology for attending the funeral. Do you know the difference?
      Showing yourself up once again. One trick pony.

  2. Johnny

    Very well said and nicely put,its so hard to strike the right balance between the great Irish tradition of honoring our patriots and observing all these new rules.
    Rest in Peace Big Bobby.

      1. Johnny

        ..oh Big Bobby wasn’t big on the rules that’s why thousands of his friends and neighbors lined the route to give him a patriots burial and show their love and respect for him.

  3. class wario

    Weird how the funerals of Garda Horkan and that poor young fella from Belfast weren’t met with the same media attention

  4. Yoji

    If the regulations put a number on the funeral size then those are the regs. I don’t care if President Higgins is being buried. Follow the rules for the good of the nation. Many have followed and felt that pain. It’s horrible but we must do all to return our country to as close to normal ASAP for the health both bodily and mentally of the country. Our leaders shod be leading and not spitting hairs about their behavior. If you’d have all the pols in attendance a few weeks ago about Dominic Cummins they all would have said he was wrong. A few weeks later they break the rules.

    All parties should be making sure of this. No exceptions until they are allowed by the rules. That’s my feelings and I say this as someone who voted for SF and independents in the election.

    1. gallantman

      Social Distancing ended on the day of the BLM marches in Dublin. The notion that you could finger-wag about large public gatherings after that day is plainly ludicrous.

      So the rest is just politics now. Not principles. Not public health concerns.

      1. spud

        Huge difference with indoor gatherings like funerals in churches.
        Recent evidence shows the BLM demonstrations didn’t result in any spikes of the virus.

        1. gallantman

          “Recent evidence shows the BLM demonstrations didn’t result in any spikes of the virus”
          So you haven’t checked the news from the USA in the last few days then????

  5. gallantman

    Unless of course it’s to commemorate a person killed in Minneapolis in which case thousands of people can throng in the streets week after week and they will generally be applauded by the media and all mainstream politicians

  6. Hector Ramirez

    As much as they tried to change the narrative, the SF top brass have seen the way the public have gone and walked back previous statements to ensconced themselves once more in populism. Classic me feiners.

  7. Oh...

    Don’t suppose anyone is asking if the Sinn Fein TDs, and indeed anyone else that travelled across the border will be self quarantining for the next 14 days having travelled internationally?

    1. yoji

      In this case it looks like they are within the rules. They will argue the rules when it suits them and ignore or make fuzzy the rules they don’t follow.


      “You are also asked to self-isolate for 14 days if you arrive in Ireland from any overseas country. This includes Irish citizens coming home.

      Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people.

      Further advice for people who have recently returned from abroad is available from the HSE.”

      They didn’t travel overseas I assume would be their point.

      1. Oh...

        Dug a little deeper. And NI does appear to have it’s own little special exception written for it by the DFA. So guess it’s fair enough not to ask the question.

  8. Jdawgs

    Ahhh, Big Bobby. The Enforcer, the Criminal Mastermind. The brains behind the biggest bank raid in British History. That’s Sinn Fein folks.

    1. italia'90 Please don't mention Sweden

      What are you talking about?

      Up in The Roddy, they used to call him “The Kiddy Snatcher”
      He delivered many young, poor unfortunates over to Freddie Scappaticci,
      so he could gut and fillet them in the basement of Mc******** bar.
      That Big Bobby?

      The brains behind the biggest bank raid in British History is from Cavan.

  9. Ringsend Incinerator

    What’s the whole umbrella thing? An appeal to the sartorial sense of the other side? A bit boomer innit?

  10. Jake38

    The criminal origins of West Belfast continue to ooze through the Shinner lying and hypocrisy.

    1. SOQ

      Have you been? I am a regular in Ladybrook myself.

      Some of the most resilient people I have ever encountered.

  11. Truth in the News

    The populace who lined the streets as funeral cortage passed aint too concerned
    about what Arlene Foster has to say about them as they were the victims for
    generations of the blatant discrimination directed at them by the very element
    of political society she represents, there have been other large funerals where
    there was not much physical distancing,,,,,the rule of whats left of Unionism ,
    and what it stood for is over, and whether we like it or not we will have to put up
    with the Shinners, they are here to stay

Comments are closed.