Michael Barr Funeral Strabane
Fourteen people have been arrested at the Co Tyrone funeral of a dissident republican man who was shot dead in a Dublin city pub last month.
The men were arrested by the PSNI under the terrorism act and are being questioned about suspected membership of an illegal organisation, the IRA.
The funeral of Michael Barr, a 36-year-old father of five and a native of Strabane, has heard his death was “deliberate and evil.” He was shot dead in the Sunset House Bar on April 25th last.
There was a heavy security presence as more than 500 mourners attended Mr Barr’s funeral in Strabane in Co Tyrone. A known dissident republican, his death is believed to be linked to the Hutch/Kinihan crime feud.
His funeral cortege was accompanied by full republican military trappings as it was brought to St Mary’s Church in Melmount. A tri-colour as well as black gloves and a black beret rested on top of his coffin.
Members of Sigerson’s GAA Club from Strabane, a club which the late Mr Barr had played with, formed a guard of honour into the church. Another guard of honour was formed by another republican group wearing white shirts and black ties. Gardaí and the PSNI on both sides of the border at Lifford and Strabane stopped motorists and asked for identification while a PSNI helicopter circled overhead.
Among the leading mourners were Mr Barr’s mother and father, Martina and Colly as well as his partner Jade and the couple’s five children Tiarnan, Killian, Caitlín and his grandmother Theresa.
Parish priest Fr Michael Doherty sent a message of support to communities in Dublin living in fear of gangland crime. He said the community of Strabane was behind those facing the continuing violence on the streets of the capital.
Addressing mourners inside the church, Fr Doherty said he had known Mr Barr when he was a pupil at St Coleman’s High School where he excelled at both Gaelic football and hurling.
He said Strabane had known many people who had died before their time through accidents and suicide. But he said it had been a long time since someone from the community had died in such circumstances as Mr Barr and described his death as “deliberate and evil.”
He said himself and the wider community in Melmount wanted to show their support for the communities in Dublin which were now living in fear of organised crime.
He said he wanted to echo the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin’s call for the chain of hate and evil to be broken.
Among the gifts brought up to the altar during the offertory was a Gaelic football and a Sigersons GAA jersey.
After the funeral mass, Mr Barr’s remains were carried the short distance across the road to Melmount Cemetery for burial.
Members of those wearing military regalia saluted the coffin as Mr Barr’s remains were laid to rest.