Mother’s tribute to slain Ronan Kerr at police memorial
The mother of murdered Catholic PSNI constable Ronan Kerr has told a memorial service for UK police officers who died in the line of duty that her son’s death “has made a difference”.
Nuala Kerr lit a candle during a National Police Memorial Day service in Scotland yesterday in memory of officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.
Fighting back tears, she said: “The fact that Ronan has been remembered means so much.
“He would have been proud — but he didn't want to be remembered in this way.
“His death has made a difference. We are so proud of him, but at the same time very sad. We didn't expect to lose Ronan so soon. It has been very difficult for all of us.”
Justice Minister David Ford, who also attended the service, paid tribute to Constable Kerr, who died when a dissident republican bomb exploded underneath his car in Omagh in April.
Mr Ford said that Constable Kerr was murdered “simply because he joined the PSNI”.
“I would like to praise the personal qualities of Ronan and all of his colleagues. Their selflessness and bravery in the face of the very serious threat from terrorists is testament to their professionalism,” said Mr Ford.
He added: “Today’s service provides an opportunity for the whole police community throughout the UK to join with families, friends and colleagues to remember those officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”
His killing produced a show of unity, with members of the GAA and police carrying the coffin.
The service was held at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall and attended by 2,000 officers, dignitaries — including the Prince of Wales — and the families of those who died in the line of duty.
The first memorial service took place at St Paul's Cathedral in 2004. Since then it has been held in Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh.
PSNI constable Ronan Kerr died when a bomb exploded under his car in Omagh on April 2. He was the second officer murdered by republicans since the RUC became the PSNI in 2001.