TUV leader Jim Allister has called the decision not to prosecute anyone over the Bobby Storey funeral as a perverse decision.
Mr Allister said: “This is a perverse decision showing fear and favour. Fear of offending republicans and favour towards the Sinn Fein leadership. Once more Sinn Fein is proved to be above the law, even the law they made themselves. Clearly Sinn Fein, not the PSNI, rules Northern Ireland.
“The investigative delays, mishandling and apparent collusion of the PSNI in facilitating this IRA/Sinn Fein show of strength, compounded by the resulting PPS decision, in any normal society would make the Chief Constable’s position untenable. He should go!
“It makes a mockery of the COVID-19 regulations and seriously undermines public confidence in the justice system. A few days ago I wrote to the Chief Constable after complaints that members of the public were turned away by officers while going for a walk on the beach and another who was prevented from visiting his family caravan. In both cases, people were threatened with fines if they continued on their journey. We have had another case of a church service resulting in police officers turning up. Yet today we discover that the blatant breaching of the regulations by thousands of people in full view of TV cameras is to result in no action.
“The public health message is holed below the waterline. Why? Because a message has been sent out today that the law simply does not apply to some.
“Confidence in the rule of law, in the PPS and the PSNI has been shattered. We need complete transparency on what was agreed between the organisers and the police and why. Why did it take months to interview O’Neill and others while ordinary members of the public could be issued with enforcement notices on the spot?
“Once again a message has been sent that Republicans can do whatever they want. There is one rule for them and another for everyone else.
“Let’s nail the propaganda that this was just a case of breaching guidance and not regulations. Regulation 5(2)(g), which was in full operation at the time of the Storey funeral, was abundantly clear: you could not attend the funerals of your friends.
“I had many messages from members of the public lamenting the fact that they observed this when it came to the funerals of their loved ones – yet there was an exception made for a convicted IRA terrorist.
“The DUP needs to respond with vigour, not join in sweeping this scandal under the carpet that lies below the joint desk that Arlene Foster shares with Michelle O’Neill. Sinn Fein are only in government as long as they are sustained in office with Unionist support. What is the point in maintaining a system which, as today’s decision so clearly demonstrates, only exists as long as Republicans are protected from the equal application of the rule of law? We saw that with murders like those of Paul Quinn and Kevin McGuigan. We saw that with the OTR letters scandal. Now we see that even in death Republicans get away with breaking the law – at least in this life.
“What’s the point of sustaining this absolute sham?”