Republicans gather for Dolours Price funeral

Dolours Price's coffin is carried by her two sons Danny and Oscar at front and her ex-partner, actor Stephen Rea (rear right).

Up to 500 republicans from across Ireland attended the funeral of Old Bailey bomber Dolours Price today.

Her sister, Marian, who is in prison accused of dissident republican activity, was not at the service at St Agnes Church in Andersonstown, west Belfast.

Price, 62, was an unrepentant republican hard-liner who fell out with Sinn Féin after the party endorsed the peace process, encouraged the IRA to give up its guns and embraced power-sharing with unionists at Stormont.

No public representatives from the mainstream republican movement were at the ceremony.

In his address, Father Raymond Murray, who had been prison chaplain at Armagh jail, told mourners that Price and her sister were like bosom twins.

He said: “Dolours’ family can relate her nature and her talent, both of which is outside the knowledge and understanding of those who did not know her personally.

“She was clever and witty, full of fun and held people enthralled by her conversation.

“She was very devoted to her parents. Her mother, Chrissie, died on February 1, 1975.

“Their mother never saw Dolours or Marian back in Ireland. They did not get compassionate leave from prison in England to attend her funeral.

“A week afterwards they were repatriated to Ireland but that grief of not seeing her mother meant she never found closure.”

Price’s father, Albert, had also been a prominent IRA member and was interned by the Irish Government at the Curragh Camp during the 1950s.

Black flags were erected on lampposts across Andersonstown today.

There was also a visible police presence in the area.

Price, the former wife of actor Stephen Rea, was convicted and jailed along with her sister for the 1973 car bomb attack on London’s Central Criminal Court in which one man died and more than 200 people were injured.

She spent eight years in jail including several weeks on hunger strike before being released in 1980.

In recent years she clashed with Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams over her allegations that he had been her IRA Officer Commanding during the early 1970s.

Among those who took part in today’s funeral service was Hugh Feeney, who was also jailed in connection with the Old Bailey bombing.

Price consistently claimed that Mr Adams, now a Louth TD, ordered the kidnap and killing of Jean McConville in 1972.

The Catholic mother-of-10 was among dozens of people – later known as the Disappeared – who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republican militants during the Troubles.

Mr Adams has always denied being a member of the IRA. He said he was saddened by Price’s death.

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