Police in the North say a security alert, which interrupted a speech by Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in Belfast, was caused by a hoax device.
Minister Coveney was rushed off-stage earlier after a man was forced at gunpoint to drive a van towards the venue.
Mr Coveney tweeted he was 'saddened and frustrated' that someone should be victimised that way.
The PSNI have condemned the actions of those responsible for the hijacking and hoax device.
It is believed this was carried out by loyalist paramilitary groups.
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan said: "We are keeping an open mind at this stage but one of the primary lines of investigation is the UVF."
ACC Mark McEwan condemns those responsible for a hijacking and hoax device in North Belfast earlier today. pic.twitter.com/arKvl6iKIB
— Police Service NI (@PoliceServiceNI) March 25, 2022
Constable McEwan also thanked the local community during the course of Friday's security operation.
"I also want to condemn the disgraceful actions of those who caused major disruption at a peace and reconciliation event in north Belfast attended by dignitaries, guests and media", he said.
He said the van driver was threatened by two gunmen, and believed he was transporting a live explosive device to the venue.
"Just think about this, the victim believed at this point he was driving a van containing a live bomb and that his family were being threatened.
"The local community were also impacted. Over 25 homes were evacuated, local schools were affected, and vulnerable residents in a local nursing home had to be moved to another part of their home.
"Most shamefully, a funeral taking place in the church was disrupted, causing further grief to that family."
He added: "This evening, upon further examination, the device has been declared a hoax.
"It was clearly designed to cause maximum disruption to the local community".