Belfast Telegraph

Adams: Republicans angry at murder

People in republican heartlands are "seething with anger" over the murder of police constable Ronan Kerr, Gerry Adams has said.

The Sinn Fein President condemned the murder of the 25-year-old Catholic man and said party colleague Martin McGuinness had spoken for mainstream republicans when he met the bereaved family to pass on his condolences.

Mr Adams appealed for anyone with information on the attack to come forward, but he said a major effort must be made to ensure the murder, being blamed on dissident republicans opposed to the peace process, is the last killing of its kind.

He said the revulsion at the killing had affected all sections of the community, but he said he had heard strident condemnations from lifelong republicans who believed the continuing violence was futile.

"The nationalist and republican people of Tyrone, for example, where this action was carried out, or in west Belfast, heartlands, will be angry," he said.

"This isn't just something which unionists or others will be concerned about. The people who I know, and who I have known all my life, the people I have been in touch with overnight, are seething with anger.

"They just see this as a futile action. And some of those are very, very hard-boiled republicans who have been through the hardest part of this struggle over the past 30 or 40 years, who have suffered themselves grievously. They just feel outright anger at what has occurred."

Mr Adams added: "I want to express in the strongest possible terms Sinn Fein's condemnation of the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr. Martin McGuinness speaks for all of us when he says this is an attack on the community, an attack on the peace process and it has left a family grieving for the loss of a loved one."

He called on society to "move beyond condemnation" to help end the violence, and to "come in behind the Kerr family".

"They made Martin McGuinness very welcome last night. He met Ronan Kerr's mother and the wider family circle and they clearly are very proud of their son as they are entitled to be," said Mr Adams.

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