Belfast Telegraph

Police given more time to quiz third man over Ronan Kerr murder

Detectives leading the investigation into the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr were yesterday granted a five-day extension to question a third man arrested in connection with the killing.

Police now have until Friday to question the man about the murder of Constable Kerr (below), who was killed by a bomb under his car outside his Omagh home on Saturday, April 2.

The 33-year-old man was arrested in Omagh on Friday.

Two other men are also being held over the murder of the PSNI officer.

Brian Carron (26), from the Dungannon area, was arrested in Scotland on Tuesday, and a 40-year-old man was detained near Omagh on Thursday. The second man was arrested when a van was stopped near the Beragh turn-off on the Ballygawley line in Co Tyrone.

Both men are being detained and questioned at Antrim police station.

Weapons and explosives, including four Kalashnikov rifles, were found in the Brocagh area of Co Tyrone on Tuesday evening by police investigating the officer's murder.

The arrest of the third suspect came as Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness urged the public to support the police on both sides of the border in the fight against dissident republicans.

He called for communities to “hold steady” in the face of the threat.

He told the BBC: “I think what we have to do is be very steady in our approach. Peter Robinson and I and other colleagues within the Executive are totally and absolutely united.”

Of the groups, Mr McGuinness said: “Over the course of recent years it appears that they do have a limited capability, but you can't rule out anything.

“I think the greatest danger from these groups is to the local community.

“If you look at the people that have been killed by these groups, they are mostly from the nationalist/republican community.”

Speaking at yesterday’s rally, Justice Minister David Ford said he did not believe Mr Kerr’s murder would have an adverse affect on the recruitment of Catholics to the police force.

“All the evidence is there to suggest that is not the case,” he said, stating the murder of Catholic PSNI officer Stephen Carroll in 2009 had not signalled a downturn in Catholic recruits.

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