Bobby Storey: More information added to cremation report

By Mark Simpson

image copyrightPacemaker
image captionThousands attended the funeral in June

The barrister who investigated how Belfast City Council organised the cremation of republican Bobby Storey has added more information to his final report - a week after it was published.

It is understood Peter Coll QC spoke to City Hall party leaders on Thursday and explained the reasons for including it.

But he made it clear that it did not change his findings or conclusions, which were published last week.

Two extra pages were inserted into the 116-page report.

The additions include more details about telephone conversations between council staff on the day Mr Storey was cremated in June last year.

A council spokesperson told BBC News NI: "Mr Coll has requested that in the interest of completeness he makes an addendum to the report in the form of six paragraphs.

"These six paragraphs have been shared with party group leaders and with the families affected by events on the day.

image copyrightPacemaker
image captionEight families were denied access to Roselawn for the cremation of their loved ones on the day of Bobby Storey's funeral

"Belfast City Council has unreservedly and wholeheartedly apologised to all families who were affected by events at Roselawn Cemetery on 30 June 2020."

The early indications from party leaders at City Hall are that they have accepted Mr Coll's explanation and believe there is no need to reopen the investigation.

Mr Coll's five-month inquiry looked into why the Storey family gained access to the council-run Roselawn Cemetery that other families were not allowed.

His report examined why the relatives of Mr Storey were permitted to stand outside Roselawn Crematorium but eight other families on the same day were allowed no further than the gates of the cemetery.

Mr Coll concluded that the decision was "avoidable, unnecessary and simply wrong".

However, he said the errors were not deliberate and those involved were individuals of "integrity and dedication".

The council has indicated that the cost of the independent investigation is expected to be about £50,000.

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