‘No paramilitary trappings’ at McGuinness funeral

Church assured 'there will be no paramilitary trappings' at the funeral of Martin McGuinness in Londonderry on Thursday
Church assured 'there will be no paramilitary trappings' at the funeral of Martin McGuinness in Londonderry on Thursday

There will be no paramilitary trappings at the funeral of Martin McGuinness in Londonderry on Thursday the Catholic Church has confirmed.

A church spokesman said that while a flag draped coffin was to be expected, there would be no other visual reminders of the senior Sinn Fein figure’s IRA past.

The service is due to take place at St Columba’s, Long Tower at 2pm. It is expected to be one of the biggest funerals ever held in the city.

When the funeral of Peggy O’Hara, the mother of INLA hunger striker Patsy O’Hara, took place at St Columba’s in July 2015, around 50 masked paramilitaries took part in a show of strength close to the church but not on church property.

However, the church spokesman said on Wednesday that assurances had been sought by the church and had been given by those organising the funeral.

“I can assure you there are no paramilitary trappings,” he told the News Letter.

“I am told that if there is a guard of honour it will be MLAs and there are no other trappings that I am aware of.

“We have asked about that and have been assured.”