Louth funeral of Omagh suspect passes off peacefully

Wednesday 17 July 2013 20.32
A large garda security operation ensured there was no paramilitary display
A large garda security operation ensured there was no paramilitary display

The Co Louth funeral of Seamus McKenna, who was suspected of being involved in the Omagh bombing, has passed off peacefully.

A large garda security operation ensured there was no paramilitary display as the 58-year-old was laid to rest.

Mr McKenna died after he fell from scaffolding while repairing a roof at a school in Dundalk last week.

He was acquitted in a civil action taken by relatives of the Omagh bomb victims.

They claimed he was linked to mobile phones used in the 1998 attack, which killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins.

Armed checkpoints were set up on the approach roads to St Mary's Church in Ravensdale this morning and cars were searched.

Four units of the public order unit were on standby along with the mounted unit, the Emergency Response Unit and uniformed gardaí.

The garda helicopter monitored the funeral and officers from the special detective unit escorted the mourners to prevent any dissident republican show of strength.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had warned that the force would not allow any such activity.

"There is one army in this country and there is one policing service. We will ensure that position remains," Commissioner Callinan said on Monday.

"We do not like being present in any large numbers at a particularly sensitive time when people are burying their loved ones. But we will not allow any display of paramilitarism."