Fourteen men arrested after paramilitary-style funeral for Michael Barr
The funeral of a 34-year-old Michael Barr who was shot dead in a Dublin pub has taken place in his home town of Strabane.
A paramilitary-style guard of honour flanked the coffin before his funeral took place this morning at St Mary’s Church, Melmount in the Co Tyrone town.
Around a dozen men, dressed in paramilitary-style uniform, accompanied the cortege as it travelled towards the church.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral.
Around 1pm a PSNI spokesman said 14 males had been arrested “as a result of the policing operation at the funeral”.
The spokesman said the males were arrested under the Terrorism Act.
Mr Barr was killed in the Sunset House pub in north inner city Dublin where he worked on April 25.
He was hit up to three times when two gunmen burst into the pub in the Summerhill area of the city and died at the scene.
His murder is believed to have been linked to a bloody underworld power-struggle between the Kinahan and Hutch families and their associates.
There are conflicting reports as to whether Barr was the intended target or if a member of the Hutch family was in the pub at the time.
Mr Barr was known to Gardaí for involvement with dissident republicanism.
UUP policing spokesman Ross Hussey has congratulated the police on making 14 arrests following the funeral of murdered republican Michael Barr.
“I congratulate the PSNI on taking swift action in County Tyrone today and making multiple arrests,” he said. “I know that the police are doing all they can to bring to justice those who brazenly swagger about dressed in paramilitary garb as if they are above the law. But hopefully those that do so will soon have their comeuppance in court, which will send a clear warning out to others that they are not untouchable.”
Earlier DUP MP Gregory Campbell condemned the paramilitary-style trappings at the funeral.
“At all events like this there is often a debate about whether the police should or should not intervene but there should be no debate whatsoever that the rule of law has to be seen to be upheld,” he said.
“There does need to be seen to be action.”
At the time of his death Michael 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 “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 some time in the last year.
The Facebook page of the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA) on April 27 describes him as a former inmate of Portlaoise, and called on all IRPWA members to attend.
“IRPWA would like to extend our condolences to the family of former Republican Prisoner and IRPWA member Mickey Barr RIP who was tragically murdered on Monday Night,” it read.
“After his release from Portlaoise Prison Mickey worked tirelessly for the IRPWA and he will be sorely missed by all those who worked alongside him and by his comrades in Portlaoise, Maghaberry and Hydebank.
“Our thoughts are with his partner, children, father and entire family circle at this difficult time and hope they find some comfort in the fact that Mickey was held in such high regard by his comrades in the IRPWA.”