Charge brought against man over huge Kettering Traveller funeral

He will appear in court next month

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 12:21 pm
The procession in Bowling Green Road.

A man has been summonsed to court over a huge Traveller funeral in Kettering during the nation's second Covid-19 lockdown.

Patrick James Rooney, 48, has been charged with breaching coronavirus regulations after the gathering on November 9.

About 150 mourners turned out outside St Edward's Church off London Road to celebrate the life of Corby's Joe Rooney, known locally as 'Gypsy Joe'.

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Horses and carriages with Irish flags led mourners through the town on their way to the crematorium for to pay their respects to the 47-year-old, who died in a crash between Stanion and Geddington the previous month.

The gathering came days after England's second lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Under emergency restrictions at the time, individuals were only allowed to meet with one other person outdoors in a public place.

Rooney, who is understood to be 'Gypsy Joe's' brother, has been charged with participating in a gathering of two or more people in a public place.

In the days after the funeral police said they were looking to issue their first £10,000 fine.

Hundreds had later joined a wake in a field with a marquee as police installed roadblocks to close it off. About 60 officers were prepared in riot gear to break the party up, police said at the time.

Rooney, of Greenacres in Market Harborough, is due to appear before magistrates next month.