A volley of shots was fired over the coffin of a lifelong republican ahead of his funeral in north Belfast in a rare display by the organisation styling itself the ‘new IRA’.
Pictures emerged of two masked men wearing military fatigues firing a volley of shots over the tricolour-draped coffin of SeamusMcLaughLin in Ardoyne on Wednesday night.
The incident took place ahead of the Belfast man’s funeral the following morning.
The 76-year-old veteran republican died in Dublin on Sunday. One message posted online alongside the images read: “Final salute to Oglach Seamus McLaughlin by Oglaigh na hEireann in Ardoyne.”
The ‘new IRA’ said Mr McLaughlin was a senior member of the organisation and had given full approval for the final salute.
Before joining the breakaway group, Mr McLaughlin had served in the Provisional IRA. In Dublin, where he had beenon the run for four decades, a volley of shots was also fired in his memory.
In a statement, the ‘new IRA’ has also claimed responsibility for a device which exploded at a Derry hotel last week.
Extensive fire damage was caused to the reception area of the Everglades Hotel when the device exploded ahead of a PSNI recruitment event.
The group said it “left an explosive device, using a thermobaric charge and 40-minute timer” in the hotel.
It confirmed the Everglades was targeted because it recently hosted a PSNI recruitment event. And the group threatened that other venues hosting similar events are now also under threat.
The statement said: “This was a direct response to a recent PSNI/MI5 recruitment event held at the hotel.
“Any venue that hosts similar events in the future will now be treated as legitimate targets by the IRA.
“This warning will not be repeated and should be treated with the seriousness it warrants.”