Up until 1983, the authorities generally left Irish republican funerals alone. An abrupt change of policy by Margaret Thatcher's government resulted in police and soldiers violently intervening in numerous funerals for the remainder of the decade.
It was not simply a matter of preventing shots being fired over coffins - the RUC would provocatively try and seize flags, gloves or berets off coffins. There were baton charges and plastic bullets in clashes with mourners.
|A coffin falls to the ground as Royal Ulster Constabulary officers fire plastic bullets at funerals of IRA Volunteers Paddy Deery and Eddie McSheffrey, Derry City, 2 November 1987
|Police try and push through mourners at same funeral:
|Mourner injured in police baton charge in Derry '87.|
|Police try to seize flag from coffin at 1983 funeral of Joe Cravan of the Irish National Liberation Army|
|Police at the Belfast funderal of Larry Marley in 1987, delayed for three days as a result of police intimidation.|
And they wonder why?:
|Anderson Town News, 12 April 2013|