Actor Stephen Rea carries coffin at ex-wife Dolours Price’s Belfast funeral
Gerry Adams stays away as Republicans bury IRA hunger striker
Hollywood actor Stephen Rea has carried his former wife Dolours Price’s coffin at her Belfast funeral.
But Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams stayed away as Republicans paid their respects to the former IRA hunger striker.
Old Bailey bomber Price was found dead after a suspected overdose at her Dublin home last week.
Crying Game star and Northern Ireland born Rea was married to Price for 17 years.
He carried the coffin along with their two sons as her body left St Agnes’s church in Andersonstown before her burial at Milltown cemetery.
Sinn Fein President Adams was a notable absentee from the funeral.
The former MP for West Belfast, now a deputy for Louth in the Irish parliament, had clashed with Price on a number of political issues in recent years.
Price was a constant critic of the direction Sinn Fein was taking under Adams’s leadership and accused him of ‘selling out.’
The Guardian newspaper reports that she had also claimed in several media interviews that Adams was her IRA commander when she was ordered to drive the mother-of-10 Jean McConville to her death at a secret location over the border in the Irish Republic in 1972.
Adams has vehemently denied any role in the death and disappearance of the widow and has denied he was ever in the IRA.
Price’s sister Marian was unable to attend the funeral as she is currently in prison on charges of alleged dissident republican activity.
The Price sisters were jailed for their part in the 1973 Old Bailey bombing in which one man died of a heart attack after helping to clear the area.
Over 200 people were injured in the explosion which marked the start of the provisional IRA’s bombing campaign in Britain.
The Price sisters were convicted for their part in the bombing. They went on hunger strike and were force-fed as they sought to be relocated to Northern Ireland.
The sisters were eventually transferred to Armagh women’s jail.
Prison chaplain Father Raymond Murray addressed mourners at the funeral.
He told them, “Dolours and her sister were like twins. Dolours’s 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.”
Dolours Price was also one of the contributors who gave detailed testimony to Boston College’s Belfast project, which archives the memoirs of key republicans and loyalists during the Troubles.
Founder Ed Moloney and his researcher Anthony McIntyre have declined to release Price’s taped interviews which are the subject of a US Supreme Court battle in the US.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has asked the courts to release the Boston College material as part of their investigation into the McConville murder.
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