Supporters of the outlawed Irish Republican Army gathered Saturday for the funeral of one of their members as three men faced prison in the United States for conspiring to buy a Stinger missile for the IRA.
Lawrence McNally, one of three IRA members killed in an ambush Monday by undercover British soldiers, was to be buried in Monaghan County. McNally was killed in Coagh, 50 miles west of Belfast, along with Peter Ryan and Tony Doris, whose funerals Friday were held under heavy security.Also on Friday three men believed to be IRA members were imprisoned in America for trying to buy a Stinger missile system for the IRA, allegedly to take back to Northern Ireland and use against the British army.
Kevin McKinley of Florida, Seamus Foley of Toronto and Joseph McColgan of Dundalk were sentenced at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to four years and three months in prison, The Guardian newspaper said.
The IRA seeks to end British rule over Northern Island and unite it with the Irish Republic.
Police in the Irish Republic arrested three men after a running gun battle across fields close to the Northern Ireland border. Police said the three men were part of a squad that had tried to fire a gun salute over the coffin of McNally after his cortege crossed the border into Monaghan County.
Martin Galvin, director of Noraid, the New York fund-raising group for the IRA, and Gerry Adams, president of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political wing, attended Doris's funeral.
The IRA said Friday it had executed one of its members for passing information to the police about its operations. The body of Rory Finnis, 21, was found barefoot and hooded Thursday night in a Roman Catholic district of Londonderry.