Northern Ireland

Billy McKee: Hundreds attend Provisional IRA founder's funeral

Mourners at the funeral of Billy McKee Image copyright Magnum Photos
Image caption Mourners at the funeral of Billy McKee

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of one of the Provisional IRA's founding members in west Belfast.

Billy McKee, 97, is believed to have been a former officer commanding of the IRA in Belfast and a member of its "army council".

Born in 1921, McKee is believed to have joined the IRA in the 1930s.

During an interview in 2011, he said he would not condemn the 1972 Bloody Friday bombings in Belfast which killed nine people and injured 130.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption McKee is believed to have joined the IRA in the 1930s

He also refused to condemn the murder of Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville who was abducted and secretly buried by the IRA.

McKee added that he had no regrets about his life.

He is seen by many as a 'hard-line republican' who fell out with Sinn Féin over the peace process.

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