Belfast Telegraph

Ronan Kerr murder: Fury at sickening scrawls

By Brendan McDaid

Angry residents of Londonderry’s Bogside have hit out at dissident republican sympathisers for denigrating the memory of murdered PSNI officer Ronan Kerr.

Residents in the area awoke for the second morning in a row to the sight of a series of offensive messages daubed in white paint on gable walls across the nationalist estate.

The misspelt graffiti included “GAA Cops Look What Use Got, HaHa Ronan” and “Ronan Kerr Who Cares? Noboady Ha Ha”.

In a chilling third message daubed on a wall in the Bogside yesterday, the dissident supporters wrote “2 Down More To Come If You Join The RUC. Use Will Get The Same”.

The messages were scattered across the Bogside area, with one symbolically scrawled right beside a peace mural.

Community activists and young people from the estate gathered early yesterday morning to remove the offensive graffiti.

Local community worker Colm Barton said people were angered their estate was being used as a canvas for such appalling sentiments.

“It does not represent the people of the Bogside and they are absolutely disgusted that these people are gloating over the death of this young man,” Mr Barton said.

A backlash of angry responses from residents was yesterday posted on the Facebook social networking site.

SDLP Foyle Assembly candidate Pat Ramsey echoed their sentiments. He said: “This is a disgusting and despicable act that someone has written further graffiti on a gable wall in the Bogside area. People really are outraged by this. They do not deserve to be tarnished with this and the good name of PC Kerr does not deserve to be tarnished like this.”

He also branded those behind the slurs cowards.

Anglican Bishop of Derry Ken Good praised the people of the Bogside for their swift response to the graffiti. Bishop Good said: “The strong reaction from the citizens in the Bogside and across our city has demonstrated that the sentiments expressed in some graffiti are totally unrepresentative of the community.

“The united voice of the community has been more accurately expressed in the strong lead given by politicians, churches and sporting organisations, not least the GAA, in outrightly condemning the killing of Constable Ronan Kerr.”

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