Veteran republican Bernadette McAliskey paid an emotional tribute to former IRA hunger striker Dolours Price, who was buried in Belfast on Monday.

Price was found dead in her St Margaret's Road residence in Malahide, Dublin last week. The veteran Republican, alongside her younger sister Marian, were jailed for their part in the bombing of the Old Bailey in London in 1973.

Addressing the Bloody Sunday commemoration march at Free Derry Corner, McAlliskey said that the state had “hounded” the 63-year-old all her life.

“Dolours Price cannot be harmed by this state anymore. She is now gone. The Minister of Justice, David Ford, with a stroke of a pen could release her sister, with whom she suffered so much,” she said.

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The Derry Journal reports that McAlliskey became emotional when she spoke about how the Price sisters were force fed while on hunger strike in UK prisons during the 1970s.

Around two hundred people turned out  to pay their respects during Price’s funeral on Monday. Among the chief mourners were her ex-husband actor Stephen Rea and the couple's two sons Danny and Oscar.

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Speaking at the graveside, socialist activist Eamonn McCann described Price as “a liberator but never managed to liberate herself from those ideas. Sometimes we are imprisoned within ideals; sometimes in war atrocious things are done; sometimes hard things have to be done.”

"Sometimes it is very difficult to handle the hard things that you felt compelled to do when you are soft-hearted at the core of your being. And Dolours was a soft-hearted person as well as a hard person in her politics."

An outspoken critic of Sinn Fein in recent years, Price’s funeral was not attended by the party’s president, Gerry Adams.

Her sister Marion was granted compassionate leave to attend the wake on Sunday morning. She remains in hospital custody, after former Northern secretary Owen Paterson revoked the licence under which she was released for the Old Bailey bombings.

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