The Chief Executive of Belfast City Council and another senior official have personally apologised for the way the cremation of veteran republican Bobby Storey was handled last week.

The council has described a decision to allow Mr Storey's family to hold a private service at Roselawn Crematorium last Tuesday, while eight other families were not permitted to do so, as "an error of judgement".

In a joint statement this afternoon its Chief Executive Suzanne Wylie and senior officer Nigel Grimshaw said they recognised the events were "unacceptable".

They also apologised to the other families "wholeheartedly and unreservedly".

"A report is being prepared for the council on the facts of the case," they added.

"This will clarify the sequence of events that took place, and what measures the council will take to ensure that a situation like this does not happen again."

The DUP has said it will use a special meeting of Belfast City Council on Friday to seek an investigation into the arrangements made for the cremation of Bobby Storey.

The private service at Roselawn in east Belfast took place shortly after a high profile funeral in the west of the city last Tuesday.

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In a statement on Monday the council apologised for the way it handled the event and unreservedly apologised to the other eight families.

DUP members of the council have said they "share the public anger over the disparity in the arrangements permitted for grieving families".

In a statement, they said they will propose an independent investigation into what happened.

Northern Ireland's First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Finance Minister Conor Murphy have both rejected allegations that they breached Covid-19 public health guidance by attending Mr Storey's funeral.

The Sinn Féin ministers did not attend the cremation service at Roselawn.