Belfast Telegraph

Garda chief vow on officer killers

The Republic's Garda chief has pledged to take the fight to terrorists blamed for murdering Constable Ronan Kerr.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said dissident republicans behind the car bomb that killed the young policeman in Omagh, Co Tyrone, are getting logistical support south of the border.

Referring to their role in the drugs trade and protection rackets in and around Dublin, he said Garda officers will do everything in their power to end their funding activities.

"We will continue to try and put these people out of business whether they are involved in criminal or subversive activity," he said. Commissioner Callinan, who travelled to Northern Ireland for Constable Kerr's funeral, said intelligence-led operations were continuing into the dissident threat.

Over the past two years, there have been 108 people arrested - with 43 charged before the non-jury special criminal court on terrorist offences - as part of those Garda investigations.

The commissioner pledged the force's full support and co-operation with colleagues in the Police Service of Northern Ireland in a joint crackdown on the factions.

He said intense pressure would be maintained on the extremists opposed to the peace process.

Commissioner Callinan added that the vast majority of right-minded people were against those behind the booby trap device that exploded under the policeman's car on April 2.

"It was an appalling, murderous and cowardly act," he said.

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