Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Murdered Ronan's mum to run half-marathon in tribute to young officer

Nuala Kerr, mother of murdered Constable Ronan Kerr

The mother of murdered police officer Ronan Kerr has decided to mark the second anniversary of his death by taking part in a half-marathon in Omagh.

Nuala Kerr, her family, friends and neighbours are throwing their weight behind 'Running for Roney' which was set up in memory of Ronan (25) who was killed by an under-car booby-trap bomb outside his home two years ago.

Just hours before Ronan's murder on April 2, 2011, about 2,000 people taking part in Omagh's half-marathon passed the entrance to Highfield Close, where the officer lost his life.

On his first anniversary last year, nearly 400 of the 2,000 participants who took part in the 2012 half-marathon and 5k fun run/walk ran in memory of Ronan – raising funds for the family's campaign.

Proceeds from this year's event, on Saturday, March 30, will go to the war-torn nation of South Sudan through The South Sudan Project.

Nuala – who was named the Belfast Telegraph's Woman of the Year in 2011 – said: "We will also be fundraising to help the welfare of the people of one of Sudan's most underdeveloped areas.

"South Sudan is an area where people are trying to rebuild their lives and their country after a 40-year war that they never wanted. The money will be used for the provision of clean water, toilet and sanitary facilities; training of the people in basic agricultural procedures, the building of schools and recruitment; and the building and development of a health centre and other medical services and personnel."

Ms Kerr is also seeking nominations for the Spirit of Ronan Kerr Award which recognises commitment and hard work in the community. Nominations should be emailed by March 28 to spiritofronan@hotmail.com.

• T-shirts and sponsorship forms for this year's half-marathon are available from C2K Centre at Omagh Library headquarters, Tara Centre, Omagh, and Angel Sanctuary, Greencastle. Donations can also be made at the Danske Bank at Market Street in Omagh to the Ronan Kerr Fund.

Background

He was described as a "modern day hero" by Northern Ireland's Chief Constable Matt Baggott.

Constable Kerr was the second policeman to be killed since the Police Service of Northern Ireland was formed out of the RUC in 2001.

Before his death he had been working in the community.

Several arrests were made in the months after his murder. Searches were later carried out in Coalisland, Toome, Bellaghy and Ballyronan.

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