Belfast Telegraph

Community grieves over death of Pc

The purple drapes in the Omagh church have symbolised the mourning of a community plunged into grief.

The Co Tyrone market town made infamous by the 1998 dissident republican bomb has been devastated again by a terror attack.

Christ the King Church is just yards from the scene of the blast which took the life of new Pc Ronan Kerr as he headed to work in Enniskillen. Mass-goers heard words of condemnation from parish priest Fr Kevin McElhennon.

"We as a community stand united with one another in our absolute and clear condemnation of yesterday's murder," he said.

"We stand too in our opposition to the misguided, blind, morally wrong and sinful ideology of those who planned, executed and supported the brutal murder of young Ronan."

Worshippers who stopped afterwards were unanimous, perhaps a sign of how public opinion has changed since the height of the conflict with the influx of Catholic police recruits and the established peace process.

Leo Crossey, 67, a retired education board worker, expressed his disgust.

He said: "What have they achieved by killing a policeman?"

Barry McCann, 34, a farmer from near Omagh, said: "I was very angry yesterday. It just gives you a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. They are just taking us back to the bad old days that we thought we were getting out of."

Flowers were placed close to the scene where forensics experts in white boiler suits searched for clues in the residential street on the outskirts of the town. A white and blue tent was placed at the scene of the blast.

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From Belfast Telegraph