An inspection into the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s handling of the Bobby Storey funeral on 30 June 2020

Published on: 17 May 2021

HMICFRS was commissioned to examine how the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) handled the funeral of Bobby Storey.

Background

Bobby Storey died in England on 21 June 2020. His funeral was held in Belfast on 30 June, during the first COVID-19 lockdown. Hundreds of mourners attended to pay their respects to a senior Sinn Féin member. But, in a time of COVID-19, such gatherings have had to be restricted for the sake of public health.

Sinn Féin members, including its President and Members of the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly (MLAs), attended Mr Storey’s funeral.

Immediately after the funeral, there was anger from the public and other politicians.

The PSNI responded to the criticism by opening an investigation into the potential breaches of the Regulations.

The PSNI consulted the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) for Northern Ireland to determine whether Regulations had been breached to the extent that prosecutions should be pursued.

In March 2021, the PPS announced that there would be no prosecutions associated with attendance at Mr Storey’s funeral. This was because of concerns about the confusing Regulations and the way in which the PSNI had handled engagement prior to the funeral.

Our commission

Days after the PPS announced their decision not to prosecute, the Minister of Justice for Northern Ireland commissioned HMICFRS to examine the facts.

This report has been compiled in response to this commission.

Get the report

An inspection into the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s handling of the Bobby Storey funeral on 30 June 2020 (PDF document, 734kB) (PDF document, 734 kB)

Get the press release

Confusing COVID-19 regulations caused problems for Police Service of Northern Ireland’s handling of Bobby Storey funeral