The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in Northern Ireland has upheld its decision not to prosecute any individuals over the funeral of prominent republican Bobby Storey.

The PPS carried out an internal review into decisions not to prosecute 24 people.

Around 2,000 mourners attended the funeral of Bobby Storey in West Belfast in June 2020, when public health regulations limited public gatherings to 30 people.

Among those in attendance were Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill and Finance Minister Conor Murphy.

It had received three formal requests to re-examine the decisions and the review was carried out by a PPS lawyer who wasn't involved in the original decisions. This lawyer was also assisted by an independent Senior Counsel.

The review concluded that the "test for prosecution" had not been met.

PPS Senior Assistant Director Marianne O'Kane said that she came to the conclusion that there were two key factors in the evidence not providing a reasonable prospect of conviction in the event of pursuing prosecutions - a lack of clarity within the public health regulations at the time and the nature of the PSNI's engagement with funeral organisers in advance.

"I should add for clarity that the basis for the decision is not that ignorance of the law is an excuse," she said.

"Rather, the point is that the regulations themselves were confused and incoherent and that this posed a particular difficulty in the context of an offence where a defence of reasonable excuse is provided."

She said that she recognised the "significant public interest" in this case and the decision making process behind it.

"I can understand how difficult it is for many to reconcile the crowd scenes captured so publicly at the funeral of Mr Storey with the outcome that no prosecutions are directed for any breach of the Regulations," she added.

"Whilst I appreciate concerns that what occurred was at least against the spirit of the law and public health guidance, the potential for prosecutions can only be assessed in light of the criminal law in force at the particular point in time.

"The PPS can only commence a prosecution when there is a reasonable prospect of conviction, and that threshold was not reached in this case. I would seek to assure those who requested reviews of the decisions and the wider public that these new decisions were reached after a very careful, impartial and independent consideration of the relevant law and the available evidence."