Fifteen men were yesterday arrested at the funeral of a dissident republican in Northern Ireland.
Michael Barr, aged 35, from Strabane, Co Tyrone, had been shot dead in a Dublin bar last month. He was hit up to three times when two gunmen burst into the Sunset House pub in the Summerhill area of the city.
He died at the scene. His murder is believed to be linked to the bloody power struggle between the Kinahan and Hutch families and their associates.
There are conflicting reports as to whether Mr Barr was the intended target or if a Hutch family member was in the pub at the time.
Meanwhile, parish priest Fr Michael Doherty, who officiated at the funeral, sent a message of support to those living in fear of gangland crime. He said the community of Strabane is behind those facing the violence on the streets of Dublin City.
Around 500 people had turned out for Mr Barr’s funeral Mass at St Mary’s Church in the Melmount area of Strabane yesterday.
Around a dozen men, dressed in paramilitary-style uniform, accompanied the cortege towards the church.
Black flags were placed on lamp posts along part of the route while a black beret and gloves were placed on top of the coffin, draped in a Tricolour. There was a significant police presence on both sides of the border ahead of the funeral.
The PSNI said 15 men had been detained under the Terrorism Act.
At the time of his death, Mr Barr was due to be sentenced at the Special Criminal Court for handling stolen electrical equipment.
He had pleaded guilty to the offence at Finnstown House Hotel on July 18, 2014, where a bomb had been found in a car two months earlier. Republican supporters described him as an “ex-republican POW”.
He had lived in Poppintree in the Ballymun area and also in Finglas before moving to the north inner city since taking over the Sunset House pub in the last year.
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