FIRST Minister Michelle O’Neill has apologised for attending the funeral of former Sinn Féin chairman Bobby Storey in West Belfast.

The Sinn Féin vice-President made the apology as she faced the UK Covid Inquiry in Belfast on Tuesday.

“My actions compounded the hurt, my actions also angered families. I am sorry for going and I am sorry for the hurt that’s been caused," she stated.

When asked by the chair Baroness Hallett if she was aware of the hurt and anger at the time, Ms O’Neill replied: “I didn’t and I ought to have.”

Minutes of an executive meeting after the funeral reveal notes from Ms O’Neill, in which she asked her executive colleagues to “divorce their views of Mr Storey from her actions".

Ms O’Neill said she was invited by the family, that she was honoured to attend, that Mr Storey was a huge figure and thousands would wish to be there.