image captionA large number of mourners turned out for the funeral of Bobby Storey
The funeral of senior IRA figure Bobby Storey on 30 June 2020 was one of the largest public events that occurred during the pandemic.
About 2,000 people lined the route in west Belfast and followed behind the cortege, which included many Sinn Féin politicians.
At the time, regulations only permitted up to 30 people in a cortege and at a funeral service.
BBC NI Home Affairs Correspondent Julian O’Neill outlines what happened in the aftermath.
June 30: Police confirm engagement with organisers
Immediately following Mr Storey’s funeral, a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) statement confirmed prior engagement with organisers.
It said police had received assurances health guidelines would be observed and that Sinn Féin marshals would be in place to encourage compliance.
July 2: Sinn Féin president responds to criticism
In the face of growing political criticism, the Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald, who had travelled from Dublin to attend the funeral, told Irish broadcaster RTÉ it had been “meticulously planned with the PSNI and others”
image captionBobby Storey was previously chairman of Sinn Féin and a close friend of Gerry Adams
July 4: Police ‘were not involved in planning’
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said police had engaged with organisers so that “they understood their obligations” and insisted officers had not been involved in planning the funeral, nor had the PSNI approved any plan.
July 7: ‘Independent oversight’ of investigation
PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said a senior outside officer – later confirmed as Mark Webster from Cumbria – had been appointed to ensure “independent oversight” of an investigation which had commenced into suspected breaches of the health regulations.
September 9: Michelle O’Neill ‘regrets’ undermining of health message
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said she regretted that the public health message was undermined by the funeral and she wanted to rebuild public trust. She did not apologise for having attended.
image captionSinn Féin’s leader and deputy leader attended, along with former leader Gerry Adams (centre)
September 24: Police request voluntary interviews
It emerged that a total of 24 people – including Ms O’Neill, but not all of them elected Sinn Féin politicians – had been written to by the police requesting that they voluntarily attend an interview.
December 9: Police ‘in nobody’s pocket’
In a BBC News NI interview, Simon Byrne said there would have been widespread violence and disorder if police had moved in to break up the funeral crowd.
He added that the PSNI had not abdicated its responsibilities on the day, and said: “We are in nobody’s pocket.”
December 18: Prosecutors receive file
The police investigation is completed and a file dealing with 24 people sent to the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service for consideration.