A gunfire salute has taken place in tribute to a former IRA Volunteer and a well known member of the west Belfast community who passed away suddenly last month.
A lifelong and committed republican, Seán ‘Jap’ McKinley became known around the world when he was featured in a documentary shot in 1974 by British journalist, writer and documentary filmmaker Peter Taylor.
Although Seán was just 12 years old in the documentary, he had an IRA tattoo on his left hand. He told Peter Taylor that when he grew up he would join the IRA and fight against the British. He was true to his word, and became a respected Volunteer and dedicated freedom fighter.
Sinn Féin’s Pat Sheehan MLA and Republican Network for Unity both paid tribute.
A former IRA life-sentence prisoner, his funeral in St Peter’s Cathedral was attended by senior republicans and former political prisoners, with a tricolour placed over his coffin.
It was subsequently reported that a volley of shots was fired in tribute to the late IRA Volunteer.
Footage published by the Belfast Telegraph shows two masked men in camouflage clothing, holding 3D-printed weapons, standing beside a picture of Mr McKinley.
It was reported the volley of shots were fired by members of the IRA breakaway group Óglaigh na hÉireann, which announced a ceasefire in 2018.