£50,000 reward to catch Pc killers
Published 05/04/2011 | 03:42
A £50,000 reward has been offered for information that will help detectives catch the dissident republican killers of a Catholic policeman in Northern Ireland.
Independent charity Crimestoppers put up the sum as Northern Ireland's First Minister and Deputy First Minister announced they will be attending the funeral of Pc Ronan Kerr on Wednesday.
Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness's attendance at the Requiem Mass in the Co Tyrone village of Beragh will provide another symbolic demonstration of cross-community unity in opposition to the violent extremists. Irish Premier Enda Kenny is also expected to attend the service.
As the funeral takes place in Tyrone, thousands are expected to gather in Belfast city centre at a trade union-organised peace rally to protest against the killing.
Pc Kerr, 25, died in Omagh on Saturday when a booby trap bomb detonated under his car.
Deputy chief executive at Crimestoppers Dave Cording said £50,000 would be paid to anyone who provided information that led to the arrest and conviction of the murderers.
"Crimestoppers takes all murders and manslaughters extremely seriously," he said. "In this incident a police officer who was willing to stand up and serve his community has had his life tragically cut short.
"This is a despicable crime, and for that reason a reward of up to £50,000 is being offered to anyone who can supply us with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this crime."
After announcing his decision to attend the funeral, Mr Robinson told a meeting of business leaders in Belfast that the murder served only to strengthen the resolution of politicians to make peace work.
"This was an utterly futile act designed to divide and destroy," he said. "The killers have succeeded in taking the life of a brave police officer but in doing so they have strengthened the resolve of the rest of our society in our commitment never to go back to the division and conflict of the last generation."